Washington: The FBI in July raided one of Paul Manafort's homes, a spokesman for the former campaign chief for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
"FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Manafort's residences," said the spokesman in a brief communique. The statement was released after the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that FBI agents in late July staged a raid on Manafort's home in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington DC. FBI agents showed up at the residence without prior notice before dawn on July 26 searching for assorted documents that might have a bearing on the Russia investigation, the daily said, adding that they did take away certain written materials they found there. The newspaper cited "people familiar" with the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possible links between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin. The spokesman confirmed that "Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well," although he provided no further details. The raid took place one day after Manafort met voluntarily with personnel with the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia's alleged interference in the presidential election. The former campaign chief earlier voluntarily had turned over documentation to the congressional committees pursuing the Russia probe. Manafort for some time has been the focus of FBI and Senate investigators regarding the possible contacts between Russia and Trump's team. Before becoming Trump's campaign manager, Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire with the aim of benefiting the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he also engaged in irregular pro-Russian business dealings in Ukraine. In addition, Manafort made news last month when it became known that in June 2016 he attended a meeting Donald Trump Jr. arranged with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to obtain compromising information about then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. According to Veselnitskaya, Manafort spent the entire meeting looking at his cellphone.