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FBI raid on Paul Manafort's home demonstrates aggressive pursuit of Russia investigation

An FBI raid last month at one of the homes of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, provides the clearest evidence so far that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is aggressively pursuing the investigation into the campaign’s dealings with Russia and of possible wrongdoing by Manafort.

Agents served a warrant at the Alexandria, Va., home of Manafort, a lobbyist with a long background of ties to pro-Russia politicians, according to Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort.

“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” Maloni said in a statement about the raid, which was first reported by the Washington Post.

The early morning search, conducted by FBI agents working on the case supervised by Mueller,  came on July 26, a day after Manafort agreed to turn over records to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is also investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.

The search is a sign that Mueller, who is working with a grand jury in Washington, has amassed enough evidence to justify a broad warrant seeking records. Unlike subpoenas, which a grand jury can issue on its own, a warrant requires prosecutors to persuade a judge that probable cause exists to believe that a crime may have been committed.

Manafort ran Trump’s campaign during a pivotal period leading up to the Republican National Convention last summer. In June 2016, Manafort attended a meeting at Trump Tower in New York that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., who sent Manafort an emailed invitation to get research on Hillary Clinton that Trump Jr. had been told was provided by the Russian government.

Manafort was forced to leave the campaign after investigators in the Ukraine said they were looking into allegations of more than $12 million in secret payments to him from a political party connected to former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russia figure who was driven from office by a popular uprising in 2014.

Manafort announced in April that he was belatedly registering as a foreign agent.

In addition to allegations related to the campaign and transactions involving Manafort’s work overseas, the FBI also is investigating real estate deals involving Manafort and his son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, including Los Angeles ventures involving actor Dustin Hoffman and his son Jacob.


8:48 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with additional details and staff reporting. 

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