Multiple outlets are reporting Wednesday that, according to sources familiar with the investigation, FBI agents raided the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort late last month.
The day after Manafort voluntarily appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee, FBI agents arrived before dawn at his Alexandria home with a search warrant. Manafort had been under serious heat for possible financial dealings with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign, but advisers said that he had been voluntarily turning over documents up to that point.
“If the FBI wanted the documents, they could just ask [Manafort] and he would have turned them over,” said one adviser close to the White House.
The search warrant was wide-ranging and its issuance leads onlookers to suspect special counsel Mueller didn’t believe that a grand jury subpoena was enough to entice Manafort to hand over all the documents the FBI desired. So, the former FBI head decided to take them by force.
After a rigorous search, agents left Manafort’s home with more documents, some of which were already handed over to investigators. Thus, some in the Trump camp are fearful the raid was merely meant to send a message to Manafort, who Mueller may be trying to nail separately so as to get him to offer information regarding Trump. At the very least, it has been deemed a statement by Mueller that he isn’t planning to play softball.
Josh Stueve, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment, as did Reginald Brown, an attorney for Manafort.
The significance of the records seized is still yet to be determined. A tweet confirming the search warrant was issued can be viewed below:
— ABC News (@ABC) August 9, 2017
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Trump has been sending private messages to Robert Mueller