FBI raids home of Manafort, Trump ex-campaign chairman, in Russia investigation
Notes from the June 2016 meeting with Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer were seized.
The FBI reportedly raided the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort last month, seizing documents and other materials.
Agents allegedly entered Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia before dawn on July 26 in connection with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reported. Manafort had no advance warning of the raid.
“FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences,” a spokesman for Manafort confirmed to ABC news. “Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”
The search warrant was reportedly wide-ranging, and FBI agents working under special counsel Robert S. Mueller III left the home with various records, including notes he took while attending a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-candidate Hillary Clinton, according to the Post.
One day before the raid, Manafort met with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators to discuss the controversial meeting. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told The New York Times at the time that his Manafort had “answered their questions fully.”
Many of the documents the FBI seized in the raid included materials Manafort had already provided to Congress, and the move was seen by some familiar with the investigation as a message from Mueller’s team that he should not expect special treatment.
“If the FBI wanted the documents, they could just ask [Manafort] and he would have turned them over,” one adviser close to the White House told the Post.
Mueller’s spokesman declined to comment on the investigation.
The search warrant, however, indicated investigators believed Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all relevant records if he were subpoenaed by a grand jury.
Manafort’s allies speculated Mueller is trying to build a case against Trump’s former campaign chairman based on other activities in his personal and professional life to pressure him to provide information against other Trump campaign operatives.
Manafort resigned from Trump’s campaign last August amid questions about his work for pro-Russian forces in the Ukrainian government around the time of the Crimea invasion. Until July 27, Manafort had not registered as a foreign agent even after his firm received $17.1 million between 2012 and 2014 for lobbying work he did for the pro-Russian Ukrainian party, which is required by federal law.