Report: Feds Approached Manafort’s Son-In-Law To Pressure Him

FILE - In this July 18, 2016, file photo, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is questioning Donald Trump’s top political aide’s ties to a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine, claiming it is evidence of the Republican nominee’s cozy relationship with Russia. The New York Times reported that handwritten ledgers found in Ukraine show $12.7 million in undisclosed payments to Paul Manafort from the pro-Russia party founded by the country’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Amid news that the FBI conducted an early morning raid at the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Politico reported Wednesday evening that federal prosecutors also approached Paul Manafort’s son-in-law to increase pressure on Manafort.

Earlier this summer, investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered with Manafort on business deals. The move caused “real waves” among Manafort’s family and friends, according to sources familiar with the investigation, who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity.

The investigators were trying to get “into Manafort’s head,” another source said.

While Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing, some see the recent FBI raid of Manafort’s Alexandria, Va. home as a clear sign of criminal activity on Manafort’s part.

The former campaign manager is one of the key players at the center of federal and congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Experts on white-collar crime told Politico the tactic — approaching Manafort and his son-in-law — is common when seeking to gain information about someone higher up on the ladder who is being investigated.

Manafort’s legal team, however, has denied any suggestions that he is cooperating with investigators.

“Paul’s been forthcoming, but he’s not a cooperating witness and any suggestion to that effect is silly,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told Politico in July.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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