Government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman

Paul Manafort says that he wants an investigation into anyone who leaked that there was a federal surveillance warrant against him
Paul Manafort says that he wants an investigation into anyone who leaked that there was a federal surveillance warrant against him
Author

20 September, 2017

The U.S. government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort before and after the presidential election, CNN is reporting.

Not only does CNN's report suggest there could be records of communications Manafort had with Trump, but it indicates investigators had good reason to believe Trump's former campaign chairman was serving as an "agent of a foreign power".

Even if Manafort doesn't have incriminating evidence against Trump, he could still be a source of valuable information to Mueller from a counterintelligence standpoint.

A secret order authorized by the court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act focused on work done by a cluster of Washington consulting firms form Ukraine's former ruling party, CNN reported, citing sources. That warrant eventually expired and nothing of note, or at least worthy of criminal charges, came up at the time so the surveillance was dropped.

Mr. Manafort is under investigation for possible violations of tax laws, money-laundering prohibitions and requirements to disclose foreign lobbying.

Not Released
Investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly told Manafort that he will be indicted

Was Trump or anyone on the campaign aware of Manafort's past connections?

He added that he had nothing to do with reports alleging that Russian intelligence hacked the emails of "prominent Democratic groups and figures", and denied involvement with those Russian officials who were said to be involved.

After recently claiming that allegations the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump Tower were groundless, CNN reported new details on September 18 showing that the wiretaps may have taken place.

Manafort has denied that he ever "knowingly" communicated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election and has also denied participating in any Russian efforts to "undermine the interests of the United States".

Manafort was still in bed when federal agents who were granted a "no-knock warrant" picked the front-door lock of his Virginia home in July, The New York Times reported Monday night. CNN reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not surveilling Manafort during the now-infamous meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer with Kremlin connections in June 2016, which then-campaign manager Manafort and Trump's son-in-law and current White House adviser Jared Kushner also attended. Given his top position in the Trump campaign for months, Manafort could be the key to Mr Mueller's investigations. In fact, it puts the president in even more legal jeopardy surrounding the Russian Federation investigation. According to CNN, investigators continued monitoring Manafort's communications into 2017. Manafort was sacked from the campaign months before Election Day, but continued to communicate with Trump into his presidency. Among the most aggressive moves was a July 26 raid on Manafort's home in Virginia, in which F.B.I. agents searched the former political operative's property for evidence related to the Russian Federation probe on the same day Manafort was set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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