As it stands at present, there is only one former Trump associate who has faced charges from Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller and declined to cooperate. That person is former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; for awhile, he was joined in his status by his compatriot Rick Gates, but Gates eventually decided to cooperate with Mueller.
Manafort has chosen to put up a fight at numerous junctures, claiming, for instance, that Mueller overstepped his mandate to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in bringing charges against him for financial crimes. Manafort has so far been unsuccessful in his attempts to halt the advance of Mueller’s investigation.
In the latest installment of the back-and-forth between Manafort and Mueller, the special counsel’s team has now revealed some of the extent of their investigation into the former Trump campaign manager and overseas political consultant.
As POLITICO reports, prosecutors indicated in a court filing Thursday that just one day before Manafort was first indicted last year, they moved to seize three bank accounts. This revelation came as a part of the special counsel’s team’s response to complaints from Manafort about a supposed lack of transparency in the process by which they were obtaining warrants against him.
That’s hardly all that was revealed by prosecutors Thursday. Although the warrant itself remains sealed, the special counsel’s team also obtained a warrant for “five telephone numbers controlled by AT&T,” on March 9 of this year, which was only about a month ago.
Who exactly those numbers were all connected to remains a mystery; however, Mueller’s team did indicate that they had given at least some information about that warrant process to Manafort. Naturally, the special counsel’s team is not keeping him in the loop about matters that do not directly and primarily concern him and the currently active legal cases against him.
Besides the aforementioned warrants that were revealed by prosecutors Thursday, it has also been confirmed that investigators got a warrant to search a storage unit belonging to Manafort.
That search took place, according to POLITICO‘s reporting, in late May or early June, which was a short time before investigators turned their attention to Manafort’s home itself. During the early morning hours of July 26 last year, FBI investigators raided Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia, residence without warning.
In the aftermath of that raid, and apart from the present reporting about both the special counsel’s team seizing bank accounts last year and continuing to obtain warrants covering phone numbers very recently, it’s come out that Mueller’s team has obtained search warrants covering information from at least 87 electronic devices as a part of their investigation.
As for Manafort, he is currently facing two criminal cases against him; one covers “money laundering and foreign lobbying,” while the other, in the description of POLITICO, covers “tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to report overseas bank accounts.”
Although, as mentioned, Manafort has disputed whether Mueller’s authority even covers the crimes he’s alleged to have committed, it came out recently that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had specifically authorized Mueller to investigate those areas.
In other words, Manafort is quickly running out of luck.
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