The Russia probe has increased in intensity and scope in recent months. Under the leadership of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is focusing their attention on a variety of areas. The Special Counsel’s mandate is wide and allows him to delve into a broad range of inquiries in his Russia investigation. Former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort has come under increasing scrutiny.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the FBI raided Paul Manafort’s home in the hours before dawn on July 26th. Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, responded to the report saying, “FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences. Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”
The FBI executed the “no-knock” warrant the day after Manafort met with Senate intelligence committee investigators. The search was of Manafort’s home in the northern Virginia suburbs near Washington.
The seized information is said to include financial documents and tax records. Some of the seized documents have already been provided to congressional investigators.
Why The Raid?
A raid of this nature seems somewhat peculiar in a case such as this. Manafort has cooperated with investigators and has been willing, thus far, to turn over requested documents. Some speculate that the raid may have come after investigators argued before a federal judge that Manafort cannot be trusted to turn over all requested documents in response to a grand jury subpoena.
Still, others have suggested that perhaps the raid was meant to send a message to Manafort, that Mueller and his team would not give him special treatment. The pressure has increased on Manafort recently as Robert Mueller has consolidated several investigations into Manafort’s professional and personal life under his authority.
Allies close to Manafort are concerned that Mueller may be building a case against Manafort that is unrelated to the 2016 election to entice him into cooperation against others in the Trump orbit.