Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Manafort Replaces Legal Team in Wake of FBI Raid

Manafort Replaces Legal Team in Wake of FBI Raid

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has tapped a new legal team to represent him as government lawyers examine possible Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, his spokesman Jason Maloni said. Federal and Congressional investigators are combing through documents and records in search of a link.

Earlier this week The Washington Post reported that FBI agents had raided Manafort's home in Alexandria, Virginia, in connection with the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.

The US president told a question-and-answer session with reporters at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course he "thought it was a very strong signal", adding: "They do that very seldom".

Manafort is a central figure in Mueller's expanding investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.

"I know Mr. Manafort - I haven't spoken to him in a long time, but I know him - he was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time - for a relatively short period of time", Trump said. "You say, 'Oh, I'm going to dismiss him.' No, I'm not dismissing anybody".

Trump said that the raid, which he considered a "tough" move, was a "very strong signal", but did not elaborate on what he believes it indicates.

"I don't know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there".

According to a source familiar with the investigation, Manafort was awoken by a group of armed FBI agents knocking on his bedroom door as they executed the warrant on July 26.

The fact that the FBI was able to obtain a search warrant indicates that Mueller managed to convince a federal judge that Manafort would try to hide or destroy documents subpoenaed by a grand jury. "Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well". "As of today, WilmerHale no longer represents Mr. Manafort", the statement said.

WilmerHale had represented Manafort up to this point during the investigation into whether he colluded with Russian Federation during Trump's campaign.

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