In a rare revelation, officials who shed light on the scope of the Russia investigation showed that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Robert Mueller extensive investigative powers. Nathan Rousseau Smith has the story.
WASHINGTON – The lawyers of former Trump election campaign leader Paul Manafort filed a motion on Friday requesting evidence seized by FBI agents as part of a Special Advisory Service Robert Mueller's Russia Investigation Suspended
The motion was filed in the US District The District of Columbia Court alleges that the FBI searched Alexandria's Virginia storeroom in May without an arrest warrant against Manafort's constitutional protection against inappropriate searches and seizures contrary.
An FBI agent was given permission to enter the storage unit of a man whom Manafort's lawyers described as "an earlier low-level employee" of Manafort's company, Davis Manafort Partners, Inc., the storage unit belonged. Manafort's lawyers argue that the employee who had a key to the storage unit and was named in the lease was not allowed to seek it.
The agent does not open boxes or filing cabinets, but he uses his knowledge of their existence as a basis to obtain a search warrant the next day, the petition says. FBI agents then entered the camp and confiscated "virtually any document," the petition says.
The petition alleges that the search warrant issued by the court "was an excessive general arrest warrant, which gave the federal agents unjustified freedoms to arbitrarily seize property in the camp unit in violation of the rights of Mr. Manafort Fourth Amendment." It is also alleged that the FBI's search went beyond what agents were allowed to do.
"The search warrant should never have been issued, and any evidence the government received of the second search of the site and its fruits should be suppressed," wrote attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle.
On Saturday, the special defender's office could not be reached for comment.
Manafort is in Virginia on July 10 in court because he has fraudulently received millions of dollars in loans. The prosecutors claim that Manafort has channeled millions of dollars of revenue from his work in Ukraine to foreign bank accounts, which he then kept secret from the Internal Revenue Service. Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He also faces a lawsuit in Washington on 17 September for money laundering and fraud in connection with his work for a pro-Russian political group in Ukraine. Manafort did not plead guilty to these charges.
The indictment of Manafort arose from Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Mueller and his team of prosecutors are also investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.
The president and his 2016 presidential campaign remain legal for possible ties to Russia but legal to the president The team was told that Trump is not a target, officials said Wednesday.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the investigation in Russia as a "witch hunt".
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