Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Former Trump Campaign Chief Was Subject to Secret Wiretap

Investigators with the United States government wiretapped the former chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign under a secret court order issued prior to the 2016 election and then again after the election, according to a CNN report.


Separately, The New York Times reported federal agents picked the locks on Paul Manafort’s house during a raid earlier this summer before telling him he would be indicted, though they did not specify the charges.


Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager for about two months in the summer of 2016, but he was forced to resign after reports surfaced about his financial relationship with Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russia president of Ukraine.


The wiretapping of Manafort, according to CNN, began in 2014 while he was the subject of an FBI investigation regarding political consulting work he did for the Ukrainian ruling party. The wiretap was discontinued in 2016 due to a lack of evidence uncovered, but was re-started under a new warrant later that year and continued at least into early 2017.


According to CNN, the new warrant was related to an FBI investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.


President Trump has previously accused the administration of Barack Obama of having his “wires tapped” in Trump Tower. While Manafort owns a residence in Trump Tower, it is unclear whether the wiretapping took place there.


Both the FBI and its National Security Division say they have no records of wiretapping Trump Tower.

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