FBI agents have seized documents from the home of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, his spokesman confirmed. The raid was part of an ongoing probe into Russian interference in the US election.
Federal agents carried out a predawn raid at one of the homes belonging to Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Manafort’s spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.
“FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences,” spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement, confirming a Washington Post report on Wednesday which claims the raid took place in late July.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” Maloni said.
He did not, however, comment on when the search occurred or which property was raided. Manafort owns homes in Florida, New York City, Long Island and Virginia.
Documents reportedly seized
The Post, which was the first to report on the FBI search, said that the predawn raid was conducted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
Citing unidentified sources close to the probe, The Post said the raid took place without advance warning on July 26 at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia – which is located outside of Washington D.C.
At approximately the same time the raid took place, Trump tweeted about removing acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe – who has been serving as head of the FBI after Trump dismissed his predecessor, James Comey. In two tweets, Trump appeared to question McCabe’s impartiality over his wife’s alleged ties to Hillary Clinton.
Citing a person briefed on the Manafort incident, The New York Times reported that investigators were searching his home for foreign banking records and tax documents. According to The Post, FBI agents ended up seizing several documents and other materials during the search.
Key figure in federal probes
The raid reportedly came one day after Manafort met with the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss a meeting he attended along with Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and a Russian lawyer tied to the Kremlin in June 2016.
In emails released last month by the eldest Trump son, the meeting was described – at least by the man who wanted to set it up – as part of a Russian government effort to assist the Trump campaign by delivering potentially damaging information on rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
The former Trump campaign manager has denied any wrongdoing and has cooperated with congressional committees investigating alleged Russian interference. He has handed over documents to the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
Manafort headed Trump’s presidential campaign from June to August 2016, but stepped down after allegations surfaced that he received large payments linked to Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government.
Besides being a key figure in Special Counsel Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election, Manafort is also the subject of a longstanding FBI investigation into his work for former Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych and his dealings in the country.
Last week, Mueller convened a grand jury in the Russia investigation.
rs/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)