The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the home of Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, to obtain documents he had already provided to Congress, Manafort’s spokesman has confirmed.
The pre-dawn raid on the Alexandria, Virginia residence took place on July 26, a day after Manafort voluntarily met with staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
FBI agents seized documents and other materials related to the special counsel’s probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
“FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences. Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.
Manafort, a long-time Washington lobbyist and political consultant, worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign from March to August 2016, first working on mustering party delegates for the Republican convention, then becoming campaign chair in June.
In that capacity, Manafort was present in the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, which she says was misrepresented by the US media.
In August, the government of Ukraine accused Manafort of illegally receiving over $12 million in payments from the Party of Regions, for the lobbying work he did between 2004 and 2010. Manafort has denied any improper or illegal actions, but resigned from the campaign and was replaced by Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel in May, and tasked with investigating charges levied by the Democrats that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any investigations into the Trump campaign activities, on grounds that he was part of the campaign himself.
No evidence of any improper contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian government has yet been presented.