Took documents Manafort already handed over.
I woke up to numerous alerts on my phone about an FBI raid on Paul Manafort’s home in connection to the investigation into possible Russian interference in our election. At first, it appeared that the raid happened this morning, but a deeper reading showed it occurred on July 26.
An even deeper reading showed that authorities didn’t make any huge discoveries. But the media can’t help itself when it comes RUSSIA. From The Washington Post:
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.
Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed that Manfort cooperated with the search and handed over documents to the agents that are “working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.” The raid took place a day after Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Thing is, the agents departed with documents that Manafort already handed over to Congress:
“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.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” said Maloni, the spokesman for Manafort.
Intimidation stunt? It’s possible. Those close to Manafort have expressed concern “that Mueller hopes to build a case against Manafort unrelated to the 2016 campaign, in hopes that the former campaign operative would provide information against others in Trump’s inner circle in exchange for lessening his own legal exposure.”
They may have a point. A few days ago, The Washington Post reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stated that Mueller “can investigate any crime” he sees during his investigation:
“The special counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, and we don’t engage in fishing expeditions,” Rosenstein said when asked about the probe in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Rosenstein declined to comment on reports that Mueller is using a grand jury in a court in Washington to aid in his investigation but he said that such a step is a routine part of “many investigations.”
“It’s an appropriate way to gather documents, sometimes to bring witnesses in, to make sure that you get their full testimony,” Rosenstein said. “It’s just a tool that we use like any other tool in the course of our investigations. “
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