Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign continues to shift into higher gear as now the Washington Post is reporting that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's home was raided by FBI agents two weeks ago and evidence taken into custody.

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. Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, confirmed that agents executed a warrant at one of the political consultant’s homes and that Manafort cooperated with the search. 
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 documents included materials Manafort had already provided to Congress, said people familiar with the search. 
“If the FBI wanted the documents, they could just ask [Manafort] and he would have turned them over,” said one adviser close to the White House. 
Josh Stueve, spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment, as did Reginald Brown, an attorney for Manafort.
So the timing on this matches up with the grand jury investigating the Russian affair going to work as well as the sudden push by Sessions to get Trump off his back by going after leakers and those who publish their stories.  There's no way that the White House didn't know about Manafort's house getting raided by FBI and you'd better believe Trump is scared.

Mueller is being pretty thorough on this.  Whatever Manafort had, Mueller has.  How useful that information is as far as building a case, we don't know yet, but FBI search warrant raids are pretty serious business.

Oh, and Manafort isn't the only guy coughing up documents either.  The Senate Judiciary Committee is getting their investigation under way as well.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, his son Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort have started turning over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the panel’s expanded investigation of Russian election-meddling
The Trump campaign turned over about 20,000 pages of documents on Aug. 2, committee spokesman George Hartmann said Tuesday. Manafort provided about 400 pages on Aug. 2, including his foreign-advocacy filing, while Trump Jr. gave about 250 pages on Aug. 4, Hartmann said. The committee had asked them last month to start producing the documents by Aug. 2.
A company the Judiciary panel says has been linked to a salacious "dossier" on Trump, Fusion GPS, and its chief executive officer, Glenn Simpson, have yet to turn over any requested documents, Hartmann said. 
The committee asked for all records regarding any attempts or interest in obtaining information about Hillary Clinton from Russian government or affiliated sources, including the June 2016 meeting of Trump Jr., Manafort, Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner and a group of Russians including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. 
The committee asked for documents related to any attempt to coordinate or use information related to Russia’s attempts to influence the election. It sought Manafort’s registration filings and contacts with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Lot of smoke, lot of fire, lots of documents.  We've gotten to Trump's campaign manager and his son turning over possible evidence.  Who's next?

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