Report: Mueller’s Team Told Manafort to Expect an Indictment

Paul Manafort / Getty Images

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors warned former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to expect an indictment after federal agents raided his house this summer.

That's according to a New York Times report with new details about a July 26 raid where FBI agents, in coordination with Mueller, obtained a search warrant, picked a lock on his front door and seized binders, copied computer files, and even photographed suits in his closet, looking for evidence he may have set up secret offshore bank accounts.

To get a search warrant, according to the report, Mueller's team had to show probable cause that Manafort's Alexandria, Va., home contained evidence of a crime, and to enter the home unannounced, it had to convince a judge that Manafort may destroy evidence.

Mueller was appointed special counsel by the Department of Justice in the Russia investigation in May after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. His team is examining not just potential collusion efforts between the Kremlin and Trump campaign officials, but also financial dealings with the Russians going back years.

The New York Times reports:

Few people can upend Washington like a federal prosecutor rooting around a presidential administration, and Mr. Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, is known to dislike meandering investigations that languish for years. At the same time, he appears to be taking a broad view of his mandate: examining not just the Russian disruption campaign and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted in the effort, but also any financial entanglements with Russians going back several years. He is also investigating whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice when he fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director.
Mr. Manafort is under investigation for possible violations of tax laws, money-laundering prohibitions and requirements to disclose foreign lobbying. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, is being scrutinized for foreign lobbying work as well as for conversations he had last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. On Monday, Mr. Flynn’s siblings announced the creation of a legal-defense fund to help cover their brother’s "enormous" legal fees.
The wide-ranging nature of Mr. Mueller’s investigation could put him on a collision course with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly that Mr. Mueller should keep his investigation narrowly focused on last year’s presidential campaign. In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller would be overstepping his boundaries if he investigated his family’s finances unrelated to Russia.
According to a report Monday, Manafort was being wiretapped by federal investigators before and after the 2016 election. The surveillance reportedly continued into a period of time earlier this year when he was known to be in contact with Trump.
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