Federal agents arrived without warning at Manafort’s Alexandria house in the early hours of July 26 with a search warrant, The Washington Post reported, one day the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Manafort had spoken with the Senate Intelligence Committee for its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The warrant, served by FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was wide-ranging enabling feds to depart the home with seized documents and other materials,
Since Manafort had offered to turn over documents to congressional committees, the raid indicates observers say, that investigators may have believed he was withholding other material.
A spokesperson for Manafort said, “FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences. Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”
Manafort resigned as Trump’s second campaign leader in August 2016 after reports revealed he may have received an illegal $12 million from the Ukrainian government. He registered only last month as a foreign agent working for Ukraine.
Manafort’s foreign financial ties remain under scrutiny and he has been looped into the federal and congressional probes into Russia’s election meddling.
Manafort also joined Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner in a secret June 2016 meeting at a Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who promised to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton. That meeting became a focus of the federal Trump-Russia probe after the New York Times exposed it in July.
The career of Menafort, a lobbyist and political consultant in the 1980s, has come under scrutiny after it was revealed that Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman worked with international clients that included two dictators who were then allied with the United States. Special Counsel Mueller has increased legal pressure on Manafort, consolidating under his authority a series of unrelated investigations into various aspects of Manafort’s professional and personal life, leading to the fear expressed by
Manafort’s allies that Mueller hopes to build a case against Manafort unrelated to the 2016 campaign, in hopes that the former campaign operative would provide information against others in Trump’s inner circle in exchange for lessening his own legal exposure.