FBI agents recently raided the residence of Paul Manafort, and he has turned over hundreds of pages of documents to congressional investigators as probes ramp up into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
"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," said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for the former Trump campaign chairman.
The pre-dawn raid at the Virginia home, which was first reported by the Washington Post, roused Manafort, who was in town to appear before Congress, according to a person familiar with the situation. Agents took reams of material from the home.
Manafort is also under scrutiny from congressional investigators, and he has turned over 400 pages of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a committee spokesman said Wednesday, including information on his foreign lobbying work.
The longtime Republican campaign operative and lobbyist has also provided information to the Senate Intelligence Committee about a meeting he attended last year with a Russian lawyer that was billed as chance to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Manafort’s lawyers have said he is cooperating with congressional probes and special counsel Robert Mueller, but the FBI raid indicates that Mueller’s office may not believe it is getting full cooperation.
Mueller spokesman Joshua Stueve declined to comment on the raid.
Duke Law School professor Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor, said a search warrant would only be needed if Mueller doubted Manafort would comply with document requests or a subpoena.
"Of course it confirms beyond doubt serious criminal investigative focus on Manafort," Buell said.
A Washington-based defense lawyer with a client caught in the Russia probe said Mueller may also want to turn Manafort into a cooperative witness, something the former campaign manager’s representatives had previously said wasn’t happening.
Austin Wright contributed to this report.