The investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the presidential election is heating up substantially.
The FBI raided one of Paul Manafort’s homes in Virginia in the wee hours of the morning without prior warning. The July 26 FBI raid and search of Manafort’s residence comes on the heels of his private voluntary meeting with lawmakers.
The raid happened the day after Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to people close to the special prosecutor’s probe into alleged Russian election tampering. Unnamed sources close to the wide-reaching probe said federal agents executed a search warrant for documents and other relevant items.
During a live television broadcast, CNN‘s Dana Bash said Manafort has “the most ties” to Russian interests, and it comes as no surprise that the FBI is focusing on his business interests with Russia, and possibly, the Kremlin.
Sources contend that either “they [federal investigators] don’t trust Manafort” will be complying with the investigation into Russia election tampering or special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is “sending a message” that he is serious about following the evidence wherever it leads.
Jason Maloni is a spokesperson for Paul Manafort. He spoke to the media after news broke of the FBI pre-dawn raid, but Maloni declined to offer additional details about the heightened investigation into Donald Trump’s trusted consultant, according to the Washington Post.
“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.”
— Vassilios Tzounakis (@tzounakis) August 9, 2017
Legal experts weighed in on the latest news related to the Trump campaign. The FBI’s no-knock warrant is “unusual” in a case that has been scrutinized for months by investigators where the subject is said to be “cooperative.” Reportedly, Paul Manafort has already disclosed “hundreds of pages of documents” to Senate investigators.
It’s unclear what the FBI was specifically searching for during the Manafort home raid. However, an insider said agents seized tax records and other financial documents, some of which have already been voluntarily released.
Since Robert Mueller was appointed by the acting attorney general to oversee the Trump campaign probe, the special counsel has assembled a cadre of seasoned attorneys who are focusing on corruption, obstruction of justice, and Russian collusion.
At this time, there has been no statement from Paul Manafort about the FBI raid. Additionally, Donald Trump has not tweeted or issued a statement about the latest developments in Mueller’s investigation into his campaign for a potential Russian link.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/ AP Images]