Sunday 18 March 2018

FBI in raid on home of ex-Trump campaigner

Search: Paul Manafort. Photo: Reuters
Search: Paul Manafort. Photo: Reuters

Chris Strohm

The FBI searched a home belonging to Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, as the federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election expands.

"FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr Manafort's residences," Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Mr Manafort, said. "Mr Manafort has consistently co-operated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well."

The raid took place at Mr Manafort's residence in Alexandria, Virginia, on July 26, according to a person familiar with the details of the search. Investigators collected and took away some material during the search, according to the person. 'The Washington Post' reported the raid earlier.

FBI agents are working with a team of prosecutors led by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, including whether Mr Trump or any of his associates colluded with Moscow or committed any crimes. Along with Mr Manafort, investigators are looking into the activities and financial dealings of Trump associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Mr Manafort received $17.1m (€14.5m) for his work with a Ukrainian political party, according to a foreign agent registration document he filed with the US government in June. His retroactive filing covered his work on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian Party of Regions in 2012 and 2013.

Mr Manafort served as Mr Trump's campaign chairman from March to August of 2016, but he was forced to resign as he came under increasing scrutiny for the past work consulting for Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Mr Flynn also retroactively registered with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent. He resigned under pressure in February and filed the registration in March as the Russia investigation was accelerating.


The Trump campaign last week turned over about 20,000 pages of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is conducting its own Russia probe. Mr Manafort provided about 400 pages on August 2, including his foreign-advocacy filing, while Mr Trump's son Donald Jr provided about 250 pages on August 4.

Mr Mueller's inquiry has appeared to expand in recent weeks. Along with the raid on Mr Manafort's home, Mr Mueller is now using a federal grand jury in Washington to further the investigation.


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