FBI agents searched former Trump cam­paign chair’s home

Cape Breton Post - - World -

FBI agents look­ing for fi­nan­cial doc­u­ments have searched one of the homes of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s former cam­paign chair­man, Paul Manafort, whose past for­eign po­lit­i­cal work has been swept into the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion. A Manafort spokesman con­firmed the search Wed­nes­day.

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a state­ment that FBI agents had ob­tained a war­rant and searched one of Manafort’s homes, but he would not say when the search oc­curred or what it was for.“Mr. Manafort has con­sis­tently co-op­er­ated with law en­force­ment and other se­ri­ous in­quiries and did so on this oc­ca­sion as well,’’ Maloni said.

The As­so­ci­ated Press has learned the war­rant for the search on July 26 at Manafort’s home in Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia, sought in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing tax doc­u­ments and banking records. The Wash­ing­ton Post first re­ported the raid.

Manafort has been a sub­ject of a long­stand­ing FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his deal­ings in Ukraine and work for the coun­try’s former pres­i­dent, Vik­tor Yanukovych. That in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been in­cor­po­rated into the probe led by spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who is also scru­ti­niz­ing Manafort’s role in the Trump cam­paign as he looks into Rus­sia’s med­dling in the 2016 elec­tion and any pos­si­ble col­lu­sion with Trump as­so­ciates.

Manafort, who led the Trump cam­paign for sev­eral months, has de­nied any wrong­do­ing. He also spoke be­hind closed doors to Se­nate in­ves­ti­ga­tors for an in­ter­view just one day be­fore the search of his home.

The use of a search war­rant in­di­cates that law en­force­ment of­fi­cials have con­vinced a judge there is prob­a­ble cause to be­lieve a crime may have been com­mit­ted. A house raid can be seen as an ag­gres­sive tac­tic given that Manafort has been co-op­er­at­ing with con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors and has turned over hun­dreds of pages of doc­u­ments. It could in­di­cate law en­force­ment was look­ing for records be­yond what Manafort pro­vided.

Word of the raid is the lat­est revelation about Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which had been op­er­at­ing in rel­a­tive se­crecy com­pared with nu­mer­ous con­gres­sional probes look­ing at the elec­tion. In re­cent days, it’s be­come clear the former FBI direc­tor is us­ing a grand jury in Wash­ing­ton in ad­di­tion to one in the East­ern Dis­trict of Vir­ginia, where in­ves­ti­ga­tors also have been look­ing into former Trump na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn.

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