FBI Warrants Served — Republican Consultant Offices Searched, Reports Say [Updated]

Jonathan Vankin

Editor's note: Recently, a story based on a source associated with Claude Taylor was debunked as a hoax by the Guardian and disavowed by Taylor. In light of this, we advise any information derived from sources provided by Claude Taylor to be viewed in the light cast by this revelation.

Just two days after Donald Trump suddenly, and in shocking fashion, fired FBI Director James Comey, at least one search warrant was executed Tuesday morning at a Republican political consulting firm in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Annapolis, Maryland, according to a report by Baltimore's WBAL TV News. While it has not been confirmed if the warrant is connected to the investigation of possible Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 presidential election, there are documented links between the firm and Trump associates.

Comey was leading the FBI investigation into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but the future of that investigation, which could target Trump himself, is now in doubt after Trump fired the FBI chief.

— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) May 11, 2017

— Joshua McKerrow (@joshuamckerrow) May 11, 2017

That unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, investigates money laundering operations, among other financial offenses. In 2010, FinCEN slapped Trump through his Taj Mahal casino with a $10 million civil fine as a result of multiple money laundering violations, the CNBC report noted.

The firm hit with a search warrant Thursday has links both to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as to Trump's company Trump Entertainment Resorts. Dennis Whitfield, who is listed as a senior advisor at Strategic Campaign Group, was also a director of the political consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly in which both Manafort and another longtime Trump advisor, Roger Stone, were founding partners.

Strategic Campaign Group and its president Kelley Rogers — a longtime Republican political consultant — were registered lobbyists for the casino firm Penn National Gaming, which paid $1 billion to buy a gaming company run by James B. Perry, who went on to lead Trump Entertainment resorts, according to documents uncovered by journalist Beth Brigham.

Strategic Campaign Group was also accused in 2014 of running a "malicious scam PAC operation" as part of the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial campaign of republican Ken Cuccinelli, according to the Washington Post.

Rogers told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday that the FBI investigation stems from allegations made in the Cuccinelli case, which was a civil lawsuit, one that has since been settled.

Watch a WBAL report on the FBI raid against Strategic Campaign Group in the video below.

— BreakingNewsTrading (@BNTrading) May 11, 2017

It was Taylor who first published a report about three weeks ago — a claim widely dismissed at the time — that federal grand juries had been empaneled to investigate the Trump-Russia affair in the Eastern District of Virginia and in New York.

Despite the early ridicule he received for the claims, Taylor's reports have now been confirmed. On Tuesday, the same day that Trump fired Comey, CNN and other media outlets reported that the Eastern Virginia grand jury not only existed but had issued subpoenas for associates of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign in February — 18 days after the Trump administration was warned by the Justice Department that Flynn was possibly being blackmailed by Russia.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey confirmed the online reports that a grand jury had also been convened in New York.

On his Twitter account Thursday, Taylor reported that "[a] source in legal community reports large number of Warrants from Eastern District of Virginia being executed by the FBI. Source reports frenzy of activity inside the EDVA, large number of agents, US Marshals."

— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) May 11, 2017

MORE DONALD TRUMP RUSSIA SCANDAL STORIES FROM THE INQUISITR Donald Trump's Bizarre Russia Meeting: Russians At Center Of Scandal Visit Oval Office After Comey Firing James Comey Trump FBI Investigation 'Close' On Russia Connections, Forcing Director's Firing, New Report Says Trump Russia Grand Jury Investigation Confirmed: Online Reports Prove True As Subpoenas Handed Down Sally Yates Trump Russia Hearing: The Bombshell Revelation No One's Talking About, But Could Change Everything James Comey Confirms Trump Russia Prosecutions: Collusion Scandal May End With Indictments, Impeachment Trump Russia Scandal: Grand Jury Investigation Underway, Sources Say — Could Force Impeachment If True Trump Russia Scandal: Russia May Soon Control U.S. Oil Company That Gave Big Bucks To Trump Trump Russia Collusion: 'Concrete Evidence' Trump Team, Russia Conspired On Election Hacks, New Report Says Trump Russia Scandal Bombshell: Conspiracy 'Smoking Gun' Found In Hungary Connection, New Report States Trump Russia Hearing: Russians Used 'Cut Out' In Leak To Wikileaks — But Who? Trump Russia Scandal: Vladimir Putin 'Think Tank' Planned How To Rig U.S. Election For Trump WATCH: Trump Russia Investigation Told To 'Follow The Trail Of Dead Russians' Trump Russia Scandal: 2 White House Officials Fed Secret Intel To Devin Nunes Donald Trump Caught On Tape With Russian Spy, Report Claims James Comey Trump Russia Hearing: 5 Incredible Moments Nobody Is Talking About Trump Obama Wiretap Charge: Russian Propaganda Was Source Of 'British' Spy Claim Trump WikiLeaks Collusion Seen As Farage, Stone Make Contact With Julian Assange Donald Trump Met Russian Ambassador Last April, Lied About It Later, Report Says Donald Trump Linked To Iran Through Shadowy Hotel Deal, Explosive Report Charges Trump Russia FBI Transcripts May Show Collusion, Must Be Released, Senator Says Jared Kushner Russia Link: Trump Son-In-Law, Adviser Met Russian Kislyak Trump, Russia, And Malaysia Airlines MH17 Shootdown: New Suspect Has Putin Link Trump-Russia Connection: Four Russia-Linked Characters Trump Claims Not To Know Donald Trump, Russia, And Rosneft: Shares Sold To Mystery Buyer Once Offered As Trump Bribe The Donald Trump Russia Connection: 5 Facts You Should Know About Candidate's Possible Ties To Putin

As of about 3:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, however, the only warrant that had been publicly confirmed was the search warrant targeting Strategic Campaign Group.

In another online report, Louise Mensch — the British journalist and former Conservative member of that country's parliament who first broke the news that a FISA surveillance warrant in the Trump-Russia case had been granted last year — went a step further than Taylor, stating that "arrests" connected to the Trump-Russia investigation could come "possibly as soon as Thursday, May 11th."

"I am able to report tonight as fact both that my own sources, who are independent of Mr. Taylor's sources, confirm multiple sealed indictments delivered at State Grand Jury level in the Southern District of New York," Mensch wrote on her Patribotics blog. "Intelligence sources also believe that the first arrests in Trump Russia will shortly be announced and may come as quickly as tomorrow."

[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]