In a report contracting The Washington Post, The New York Times reported Wednesday afternoon the FBI’s raid on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was due his alleged failure to disclose a foreign bank account.
WASHINGTON — Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched the Northern Virginia home of President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for tax documents and foreign banking records, a sign that the inquiry into Mr. Manafort has broadened, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The search was carried out at Mr. Manafort’s Alexandria, Va., home shortly after Mr. Manafort met with investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 25. In that meeting, Mr. Manafort answered questions and provided investigators with notes from a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians claiming to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
…Until now, it was only known that Mr. Manafort was under investigation for his business dealings with his son-in-law, his role in the 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and the Russians and whether his work for the Ukranian government violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The government rarely prosecutes cases related to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and Mr. Manafort’s consulting firm retroactively filed forms with the Justice Department last month to be in compliance with the act.
But the search warrant for the tax and foreign banking records suggests that investigators are looking at criminal charges related to the federal Bank Secrecy Act, which requires Americans to report their foreign banking accounts.
The Bank Secrecy Act, which requires Americans to disclose all foreign bank accounts holding over $10,000, is a widely criticized law hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans are violating due to mere happenstance, the punishment for which is generally a large fine.
Mueller was supposed to be investigating Russian collusion. The money Manafort reportedly received from Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska for work in the Ukraine was given from around 2006 to 2012. It has nothing to do with the 2016 election where Manafort was briefly was hired by Trump to secure delegates as the Republican establishment was conspiring to steal them.
As a reminder, this is how The Washington Post reported on this warrant earlier today:
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.
Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records. Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, confirmed that agents executed a warrant at one of the political consultant’s homes and that Manafort cooperated with the search.
This fishing expedition into whether Manafort had an undisclosed foreign bank account shows how little Mueller’s actually got. That said, the feds can indict a ham sandwich, and they’re clearly gunning to take down Trump and overturn our election by any means necessary.