More Details Emerge About Predawn Raid On Manafort’s Virginia Home

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
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his wife were asleep in their Alexandria, Virginia apartment early on the morning of July 26 when a team of armed FBI agents burst through the door with a search warrant focusing on possible crimes committed as far back as 2006.

Those new details, including Kathleen Manafort’s shaken response to being searched for weapons, are included in a CNN report out late Tuesday on the accelerating investigation into Manafort and other Trump campaign associates.

A source briefed on the investigation told CNN that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team explicitly notified Manafort that they planned to charge him with possible tax and financial crimes.

While former federal prosecutors have suggested that Mueller may be trying to pressure Manafort into coughing up any dirt he may have on other members Trump associates, they told TPM that it was standard practice to notify an investigate target of a pending indictment and that Mueller’s team would not use this warning as an empty threat.

“If he’s been told that he’s a target—that he’s likely to be indicted—I think the way you interpret that is he’s likely to be indicted,” said Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor who served as special counsel to Mueller when he was assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Criminal Division.

A spokesman for Manafort declined CNN’s request for comment.

The former Trump campaign official, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, is under scrutiny for the web of shell companies he used to purchase real estate, his offshore bank accounts, and the millions he received in payments from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. CNN noted that the search warrant covers much of the period when Manafort was working in Ukraine.

Agents reportedly took documents related to taxes and banking, as well as other materials relevant to the probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

It is standard FBI practice to carry weapons and check residents for the same during a home search, but former federal prosecutors told TPM that the use of a “no-knock” raid was notable.

“They could pick his lock to go into his house which meant that they must’ve had strong evidence that he was going to destroy documents,” Nick Akerman, a former prosecutor on the Watergate investigation, told TPM. “That would have to be laid out in the search warrant application.”

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Best line in the article…

    It is standard FBI practice to carry weapons and check residents for the same during a home search, but former federal prosecutors told TPM that the use of a “no-knock” raid was notable.

  2. Were the feds wearing jackboots and black leather when they “burst” into the house?

    This is highly unusual behavior in a white-collar criminal investigation. It’s much more typical in drug cases or those involving suspected terrorists.

    “I’f he’s been told that he’s a a target—that he’s likely to be indicted—I think the way you interpret that is he’s likely to be indicted, said Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor," showing keen insight for which former prosecutors are known.

  3. “Notable?” I think it’s almost unheard-of in cases like this.

    And couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving guy.

  4. The FBI should have brought flowers and a box of chocolates for Kathleen Manafort so that she would not be shaken.

    Coming in with weapons and not knocking should be reserved only for minority neighborhoods. Such tactics are not for warranted for Russian traitors chairing the campaign of a neo-nazi and white christian supremacist sympathizer.

    The Manaforts deserve a large suitcase of money and a public apology for the inconvenience.

  5. Cavity searches for the Manaforts! (Who knows what they could be hiding up there?)

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

142 more replies

Participants

Avatar for pluckyinky Avatar for old_curmudgeon Avatar for ncsteve Avatar for fargo116 Avatar for trnc Avatar for steviedee111 Avatar for eduardoinohio Avatar for mrcomments Avatar for sniffit Avatar for christianhankel Avatar for sonsofares Avatar for joelopines Avatar for morriganinoregon Avatar for maxaroo Avatar for robcat2075 Avatar for serendipitoussomnambulist Avatar for darrtown Avatar for thunderclapnewman Avatar for tena Avatar for hellotpm Avatar for lizzymom Avatar for socalista Avatar for erik_t Avatar for brissy

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: