The FBI is focusing in on Paul Manafort in the Russia probe.
Just before dawn in late July, the FBI raided the home of Paul Manafort, the former Campaign Manager in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. The raid came one day after Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Lead by Special Council Robert Mueller, The Washington Post first reported that the raid was in connection with the Russian interference to the 2016 presidential race. Manafort had been volunteering documents to investigative congressional committees, but possibly not trusted to turn over the entirety.
Manafort has questionable ties with Russia in his past. He retroactively registered as a foreign agent after his pro-Russian lobbying background was made public. And most recently, his now public involvement in the meeting of a Russian attorney in hopes of attaining the oppositional research of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This meeting was undisclosed to the FBI initially.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni told CNN.
The raid indicates Manafort may be facing a serious legal battle ahead. Reports of Mueller following Trump’s finances are becoming more prevalent. Trump even warned Mueller about looking into his personal finances in an interview with The New York Times.
“Of course it confirms beyond doubt serious criminal investigative focus on Manafort,” Duke Law School Professor Samuel Buell told Politico.
Mueller is reportedly using a grand jury in the Russia probe, heightening the seriousness of his efforts.
White House Special Council, Ty Cobb, previously commented in a statement on the White House’s cooperative efforts to work with Mueller.
“The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly… The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”