On Wednesday, the Washington Post broke news that “FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.”
The New York Times confirmed the report, adding that the agents were looking for “tax documents and foreign banking records” when they conducted a pre-dawn raid on the morning of July 26. The news was also confirmed by a spokesman for Manafort.
In light of the news about the raid of Manafort’s home, Trump’s tweets on the day of July 26 are of renewed interest. That was the day Trump abruptly posted a string of tweets announcing “that the United States government will not accept or allow [t]ransgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Last Friday, Politico reported that Trump’s declaration stunned White House and Department of Defense lawyers who had warned him against such a ban.
But more directly of interest are factually inaccurate tweets Trump posted later that day asking why Attorney General Jeff Sessions hadn’t moved to replace then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
In June, the Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign included “an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice” by asking former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating his associates before firing him in May. The fact pattern of July 26 certainly won’t quell suspicions that Trump has tried to exert inappropriate pressure on the Department of Justice to kneecap an investigation into his campaign for possible collusion with Russia.
Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who promised through an intermediary to provide the campaign with incrimination information about Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Kremlin. Emails Donald Trump Jr. released last month showing how the meeting was set up indicate the Trump campaign was, at the very least, eager to collude.
Last week, news broke that Mueller had issued grand jury subpoenas related to the June 2016 meeting. The Post reports that the search warrant agents used to raid Manafort’s home “was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.”