Impaneling a grand jury and increasing the level of scrutiny regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn aren’t the only advances Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has made in recent weeks. The former FBI director tasked with investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia has also set his sights on Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager. Hence why the FBI conducted an early morning raid of the embattled political operative’s home in Alexandria, Virginia on July 26th.
According to the Washington Post, agents collaborating with Mueller’s investigation and equipped with a “wide-ranging” search warrant “[seized] documents and other materials” from Manafort’s home “without advance warning.” Sources familiar with the raid’s outcome claim the FBI “departed the home with various records,” many of which Manafort had discussed in private with the Senate Intelligence Committee the previous day. Members of Congress were also given access to copies. “If the FBI wanted the documents,” said an anonymous advisor, “they could just ask him and he would have turned them over.”
Even so, the Post suggests Mueller’s raid “could also have been intended to send a message” to Manafort, specifically that he “should not expect gentle treatment or legal courtesies” from the Trump-Russia probe. Then again, since we don’t know the precise details of what the former campaign manager gave to Congress, discussed with the Senate Intel Committee, and gave up to the FBI, perhaps some discrepancies will arise from the late-July raid.
UPDATE: In a statement to CNN, Manafort spokesperson Jason Maloni confirmed the Post‘s initial report. “FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences,” he said. “Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”
(Via Washington Post)