FBI agents raided former Trump adviser Paul Manafort's Virginia home in July, the Washington Post reports:
FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26.
Predawn hours! No better time for a raid.
Manafort, a political consultant who has worked in both the U.S. and abroad, has numerous connections to Russia:
- He received payments from a sketchy slush fund run by a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine.
- He was reportedly paid millions of dollars by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska for work that, to quote a memo obtained by the Associated Press, was intended to "benefit the Putin Government."
- He was accused in a 2011 lawsuit of helping a Ukrainian oligarch launder $25 million via a New York City hotel project. The lawsuit was thrown out of court, but Manafort is also reportedly being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller and other authorities for his involvement in a web of real estate transactions and offshore money movements involving Russia-affiliated Ukrainian entities.
- He attended the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Donald Trump Jr. set up with Russian individuals affiliated with the Kremlin effort to overturn U.S. sanctions. CNN also recently reported that U.S. authorities possess "intercepted communications" in which "suspected Russian operatives" discuss being encouraged by Manafort "to coordinate information that could damage Hillary Clinton's election prospects."
The existence of a warrant authorizing the search of Manafort's home suggests that a federal judge found "probable cause" to believe that Manafort may have been involved in criminal activity. He has denied any wrongdoing.