FBI searches home of Trump’s former cam­paign chair­man

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

WASH­ING­TON — FBI agents have searched one of the homes of US 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.

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. led by 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 shows law en­force­ment of­fi­cials have con­vinced a judge there is prob­a­ble cause to be­lieve a crime may have been com­mit­ted.

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 into 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.

Also, FBI agents have been ask­ing wit­nesses since the spring about $530,000 worth of lob­by­ing and in­ves­tiga­tive work car­ried out by Flynn’s firm, Flynn In­tel Group, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. That work sought the ex­tra­di­tion of an ex­iled Turk­ish cleric liv­ing in the US. Through his at­tor­ney, Flynn has de­clined to com­ment on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The per­son, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss the sen­si­tive de­tails of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, said FBI agents have also been ask­ing about Flynn’s busi­ness part­ner, Bi­jan Kian, who served on the Trump pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion. Kian has not re­sponded to mul­ti­ple at­tempts to con­tact him over sev­eral months.

In re­cent months, Flynn and Manafort have turned over doc­u­ments to con­gres­sional com­mit­tees in­ves­ti­gat­ing the elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence.

One fo­cus of the mul­ti­ple probes is a June 2016 meet­ing Manafort at­tended with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kush­ner, and Don­ald Trump Jr. That meet­ing, held at Trump Tower in New York, was de­scribed to Trump Jr. in emails as part of a Rus­sian gov­ern­ment ef­fort to help the Trump cam­paign by pass­ing along in­for­ma­tion that could be used against Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Dur­ing his Se­nate in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee in­ter­view , Manafort pro­vided his rec­ol­lec­tion of the Trump Tower meet­ing and turned over notes he took dur­ing the gath­er­ing. The in­ter­view was con­fined to that meet­ing.

Manafort has also turned over other doc­u­ments to the Se­nate in­tel­li­gence com­mit­tee as well as about 400 pages of records to the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee.

Mean­while, the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee said Wed­nes­day it has also re­ceived about 250 pages of doc­u­ments from Trump Jr. and about 20,000 pages from the Trump cam­paign.

Paul Manafort, Don­ald Trump’s former cam­paign chair­man

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