Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election has turned into a wide-ranging probe, which currently has its sights set on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. In recent weeks, Mueller’s team has begun issuing subpoenas for the man’s bank records.
Subpoenas from a Washington grand jury have been sent to global banks for account information and records of transactions involving Manafort and some of his companies, as well as those of a long-time business partner, Rick Gates, according to unnamed sources who spoke with Bloomberg reporters.
Other business associates, including Manafort’s son-in-law and a Ukrainian oligarch, have been contacted by Mueller’s team in an attempt to pressure Manafort into cooperating with prosecutors, according to the Bloomberg report.
“Federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating Manafort earlier this year, examining allegations that he laundered money from eastern Europe into New York properties, according to two people familiar with the earlier inquiry,” Bloomberg reported. “The Southern District of New York handed off their work to the special counsel’s team once Mueller was appointed, the people said.”
It was also reported that the special counsel has taken over a review of Manafort’s late filings to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA, according to the report.
News outlets reported on Wednesday that FBI agents conducted a dawn raid on Manafort’s Alexandria home late last month, the day after Manafort voluntarily appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort reached a deal with the Senate Judiciary Committee which will let them testify behind closed doors next week in connection with its probe into possible Trump administration ties to Russia.
Manafort is being investigated by Mueller’s team for possible financial dealings with a pro-Russian party in Ukraine even before he worked on the 2016 presidential campaign. The White House said that he had been voluntarily turning over documents up to that point.
A spokesperson for Manafort confirmed the raid had taken place, adding that he continues to work with law enforcement and officials on the matter.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.
“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. Thus, the former FBI head decided to take the documents by force.
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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