UPDATED➤ It’s Mueller time! What the raid on Manafort’s home means
A raid related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate probe that occurred two weeks ago is now on the public record – and, according to NBC News, has been confirmed by the target’s attorney:
FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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 raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.
It could also have been intended to send a message to President Trump’s former campaign chairman that he should not expect gentle treatment or legal courtesies from Mueller’s team.
The search came as Mueller has increased legal pressure on Manafort, consolidating under his authority a series of unrelated investigations into various aspects of Manafort’s professional and personal life.
It is not unlikely that it also sent a message to real-estate wheeler-dealer Donald Trump:
President Trump has sent messages through his lawyer expressing “appreciation and greetings” to special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump’s chief counsel John Dowd told USA Today Tuesday.
“He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing,” Dowd said. “He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done.
“The president has sent messages back and forth,” he said.
But Trump has also publicly decried Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between his campaign and Russia as a “witch hunt,” and has referred to it as a “cloud” hanging over his administration.
A bit of a pivot, wouldn’t you say?
Additionally, let’s not forget that Manafort was not only Trump’s campaign manager but one of DC’s most prominent lobbyists – most well-known as “lobbyist to the tyrants,” including Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych – who was forced to retroactively register as a foreign agent in late June. From 1980 to 1996 Manafort’s top lobbying firm partner was notorious dirty trickster Roger Stone.
Bottom line? Yes, Mueller sent a message that he doesn’t trust Manafort while putting pressure on him to provide more information. It’s a lead-pipe cinch that word got around, and others might well have contacted Mueller to “beat the summer rush” and exchange information and/or documentation for immunity from prosecution or lenience.
Stay tuned – Russiagate is heating up, bigly.
UPDATED➤ Timing is everything – like this tweet from Trump on the day of teh raid…
Click here for reuse options!
Major obstruction tweet after raid! pic.twitter.com/i5IHhnXbUc
— Dina Marie (@Dinas_Herbalife) August 9, 2017
Copyright 2017 News Behaving Badly