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20 September 2017, 12:28 | Bernice Figueroa
Paul Manafort was reportedly under surveillance by the FBI two separate times
Manafort is one of several close advisers who helped President Donald Trump win the 2016 election and who are now being investigated as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of alleged Russian interference in the US vote.
It's hard to tell what Mueller has on Manafort, "but they absolutely have something because they got a search warrant", said Joseph Pelcher, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent who was stationed in Russian Federation and specialized in organized crime.
According to CNN, investigators picked up communications from Manafort which suggested that he might have encouraged Russian operatives to meddle in the campaign.
The sources tell CNN that Manafort was first wiretapped in an FBI investigation into consulting firms' work for Ukraine's former ruling party, but the surveillance was discontinued for a lack of evidence. That warrant eventually expired and nothing of note, or at least worthy of criminal charges, came up at the time so the surveillance was dropped. Instead, investigators needed only to show justifiable suspicion that Manafort may have been working as a foreign agent.
However, in May of Donald's Trump campaign, Paul Manafort comes along, works as Donald Trump's campaign manager until about August, when he is let go. Instead, buoyed by the Breitbart nonsense, they're pushing the laughable claim that this news vindicates their president. But he has consistently been at or near the center of the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump associates colluded in those efforts.
Now, the information from those wiretaps has been turned over to Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investing the Trump campaign's, or investigating, excuse me, the Trump campaign's collusion, potential collusion with Russian Federation.
According to the report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation started to investigate Manafort in 2014 due to his alleged involvement in cooperation with the former ruling party of Ukraine.
It isn't clear whether Mr. Trump himself was ever heard on the government's surveillance of Manafort.
The network reported on Monday that USA officials probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Manafort at some point a year ago.
Maddow asked if reports that Mueller has warned Manafort to expect an indictment is more of a "threat or a promise".
Wisenberg was a key figure in the investigation that led to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999. Manafort was sacked from the campaign months before Election Day, but continued to communicate with Trump into his presidency.
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