FBI agents raided former Trump campaign ChairmanPaul Manafort‘s home, a spokesman for Manafort tells NPR’s Tamara Keith. Manafort’s name has come up as part of the U.S. investigation into Russia’s attempt to meddle with last year’s election.
The raid reportedly took place in late July, one month after Manafort registered as a foreign agent.
News of the raid in Alexandria, Va., was first reported by The Washington Post. A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, tells NPR:
“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.”
“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.”
Mueller, the former FBI director, has assembled a team to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russians and associates of President Trump.
As part of his investigation, Mueller is using a grand jury in Washington, D.C. — a development seen as a sign that his work is intensifying.
In late June, Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, registered as foreign agents with the U.S. Justice Department. According to documents filed with the government, a firm headed by Manafort “made more than $17 million in two years working for the pro-Russia political party that controlled Ukraine’s government,” NPR’s Jim Zarroli reported.
That party was headed by Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Manafort has a long history as a lobbyist and political operative, having worked for both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. He also has longstanding ties to President Trump, who hired him back in the 1980s to work on lobbying issues for his real estate and gambling deals, as NPR’s Brian Naylor has reported.
Over the years, Manafort has represented a number of foreign entities, “from governments in Nigeria and Kenya, the UNITA rebels in Angola and a group with ties to Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos,” as Brian reported last summer.
In more recent years, Manafort worked for another Putin ally — Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska — whom the American approached in 2005 with the promise of providing influence in the U.S. and elsewhere. Millions of dollars changed hands in their collaboration, which lasted for several years and included investments in Ukraine, as Jim reported earlier this summer.
Want to know more about the people, groups and big ideas behind the Trump-Russia investigation? We’ve collected background material here.