Russia probe: FBI raids home of Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort
The FBI searched the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager as part of the special investigation on Russia.world Updated: Aug 10, 2017 08:56 IST
FBI agents on July 26 raided a home owned by Paul Manafort — once the head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — in connection with the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged collusion by the US president’s aides, reports have revealed.
Agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller arrived unannounced early morning at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, one day after he appeared at a closed-door hearing on Capitol Hill. It was not know if his other residences in Florida and New York city and the Hamptons in New York state were also searched.
Investigators are reported to have carried away various records — tax documents and foreign banking accounts — including documents already turned over by him to investigators. The exact nature of the records seized remained unclear.
The Washington Post, which first reported the raid, said the intention could have been to send Manafort a message — that he should not expect gentle treatment or legal courtesies from Mueller.
FBI’s probe of the Russian meddling is now headed by Mueller, a former FBI director who has put together a formidable team of lawyers and prosecutors.
Trump and his aides are worried the counsel could end up looking into Trump’s past financial dealings and his sprawling business empire, and there are fears that the president could fire Mueller should he venture that far.
Mueller’s investigation has indeed gone beyond the Russia probe, in line with his mandate to look “any matters that arose”.
His office sought records and documents last week from the White House pertaining to former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s dealings with Turkey, and payment his consultancy firm received for discrediting an opponent of the Turkish government in 2016.
Manafort’s past dealings with Russia and Russia-aligned leaders of Ukraine had long been under scrutiny. He was fired in August over differences with Trump on campaign style and substance and reports about his financial dealings, just three months before the general election in November
His presence at a meeting Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr took last June with a Russian lawyer last year who had offered campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton brought him fresh public scrutiny.
Manafort has also deposed in a closed-door hearing at US senate’s intelligence committee and is cooperating with the judiciary committee, which had threatened to issue him a subpoena to force him to testify before it.