The FBI raided the Alexandria, VA residence of President Trump’s former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort last month after obtaining a search warrant for documents.
Manafort reportedly had turned over hundreds of pages of documents to congressional investigators amid the Russian probe seemingly delving deeper into the Trump campaign and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
The documents provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees included notes about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, linked to the Kremlin and other Russian citizens.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” according to Jason Maloni, a spokesman Manafort in a statement.
Manafort was not warned about the raid, which occurred pre-dawn on July 26. The raid at the Virginia home, first reported by the Washington Post, alerted Manafort, who was in town to appear before Congress, according to an unnamed source familiar with the case.
Federal agents working alongside special counsel, Robert Mueller’s team, confiscated a number of records from Manafort’s home. The raid occurred a day after Manafort voluntarily met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Manafort also under scrutiny from congressional investigators, has turned over approximately 400 pages of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a committee spokesman’s statement on Wednesday. The document included information on Manafort’s foreign lobbying work.
The former campaign manager has also provided information to the Senate Intelligence Committee about a meeting he attended last year with Donald Trump, Jr, and Russian lawyer, Veselnitskaya, which was centered on receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The longtime Republican lobbyist and campaign operative’s lawyers claim that Manafort is cooperating with the congressional investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller, however, the FBI raid could suggest that Mueller’s office may not believe it is getting full cooperation.
Joshua Stueve, a Mueller spokesperson, declined to comment on the raid. Samuel Buell, former federal prosecutor and Duke Law School professor, said a search warrant would only be needed if Mueller doubted Manafort would comply with document requests or a subpoena.
“Of course it confirms beyond doubt serious criminal investigative focus on Manafort,” added Buell.
Federal officials may have obtained the search warrant by driving the theory Manafort — a former lobbyist for Ukrainian, Philippine, and other world leaders — may not have turned over all relevant information for the grand jury subpoena.
It is speculated that Mueller may be exploring turning Manafort into a cooperative witness, something the former campaign manager’s representatives had previously said wasn’t happening.
By LeNora Millen 08-09-17