Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.
The Senate was originally unable to reach an agreement with Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, over the terms of his testimony, and issued a subpoena. However, that was withdrawn before his agreement to hold a discussion with committee staff.
Manafort’s history, which includes working for a series of dictators and autocrats, features a prominent role in working directly for pro-Russian forces to upend the government in Ukraine and put a pro-Putin candidate in power. Manafort also worked to generate disruptions that served as an excuse for the Russian takeover of Crimea, including an attack on US Marines and protests against NATO.
Despite his years of overseas work and lobbying for foreign governments in the United States, it wasn’t until June that Manafort finally registered as a foreign agent and admitted to millions in unreported payments. Manafort also maintained an office in Cyprus, and worked on what appeared to be money laundering schemes. Manafort’s efforts left him millions in debt to Russian oligarchs.
Exactly what records the FBI seized from Manafort’s oddly obtained house isn’t clear. However, he was present for that infamous Trump Tower meeting.
The documents are said to include notes Manafort took while attending a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.
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