Trump lawyer on Manafort raid: “Gross abuse”

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A chief counsel to President Trump sent an angry letter to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office this week, accusing the investigator of abusing the judicial process in his raid of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s home.

Multiple outlets reported this week that following his voluntary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, FBI agents arrived in the wee hours of the morning at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, with a wide-ranging search warrant.

Manafort had reportedly been cooperating with investigators up to that point, appearing before the committee and handing over thousands of documents. But that apparently wasn’t enough for Mueller, whose raid leads onlookers to believe he either doesn’t trust Manafort at all or wanted to send a message. Trump attorney John Dowd thinks it involves legal chicanery.

“It appears the Search Warrant here was obtained by a gross abuse of the judicial process by the Special Counsel’s office,” Dowd wrote in the letter, according to Fox News.

Dowd’s condemnation was harsh, comparing Mueller’s tactics to that of Russia.

“In addition, given the obvious unlawful deficiencies, this extraordinary invasive tool was employed for its shock value to try to intimidate Mr. Manafort and bring him to his needs. These methods are normally found and employed in Russia, not America.”

Dowd also shed light on the documents the FBI obtained in the raid, saying they were “privileged and confidential materials prepared for Mr. Manafort by his counsel to aid him in his cooperation with the congressional committees,” according to Fox News.

The Trump team may be fearful that if Manafort is indicted, Mueller will then be able to leverage him for information on Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

“These failures by Special Counsel to exhaust less intrusive methods is a fatal flaw in the warrant process and would call for a Motion to Suppress the fruits of the search,” he wrote.

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