Manafort Claims Mueller Unlawfully Seized Evidence From Storage Unit

In this photo taken July 17, 2016 photo, Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Manafort says he’s registering with the Justice Depa... In this photo taken July 17, 2016 photo, Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Manafort says he’s registering with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. Michael Flynn already did. And in both cases the filings by associates of President Donald Trump will come after the fact and accompanied by the admission that they violated federal law. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) MORE LESS
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April 7, 2018 11:40 a.m.

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is asking a judge to exclude evidence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators obtained from one of his storage lockers in Virginia last May, claiming they obtained the evidence unlawfully.

In a new motion filed late Friday, Manafort claims Mueller’s team entered his storage facility without a warrant on May 26, 2017 after one of his former employees allowed an FBI agent to enter. Manafort claims that the ex-employee — whose name is redacted in the filing — didn’t have permission to let the agent into the unit, even though the ex-employee’s name was listed on the lease, according to the attached affidavit.

During May 26 visit, the agent “entered and observed a number of boxes and a filing cabinet inside the premises, as well as some writing on the sides of some boxes,” according to the filing. The agent then used what he observed to obtain a warrant the next day to confiscate documents from Manafort’s storage unit, which Manafort claims was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, according to the filing. The filing includes a redacted version of the search warrant and the supporting affidavit from the FBI agent who conducted the search.

The search was executed just a little over a week after Mueller was appointed as special counsel. In October, Mueller brought a slew of charges in Washington, D.C., alleging financial crimes and failure to disclose foreign lobbying against Manafort and his longtime business partner, ex-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates. Gates pleaded guilty in February and is cooperating with Mueller’s probe. Mueller meanwhile, filed a superseding indictment for the Washington, D.C. case, and a second criminal case against Manafort in Virginia. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Read the new filing below:

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