Seems the FBI has been investigating the Chump crew for a while. FBI obtained at least two judicial warrants to wiretap Paul Manafort starting back in 2015.
It now appears Mueller has his second target in the bag, with Michael Flynn already having been assigned a post and blindfold in front of the firing squad.
This one may move quickly, as Mueller has already started issuing subpoenas for the involved.
Two stories that popped overnight suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller is aggressively pursuing Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump’s campaign.
— CNN reports that “U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election”: “The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump. Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation …
“A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014,” per Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown. “It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party … The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence … The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year. … Sources say the second warrant was part of the FBI’s efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. Such warrants require the approval of top Justice Department and FBI officials, and the FBI must provide the court with information showing suspicion that the subject of the warrant may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.”
— The CNN story, parts of which were subsequently confirmed by CBS News, raises a host of fresh questions. Among them:
Was Trump himself picked up on any of the surveillance? CNN says that’s “unclear.” But it’s been widely reported that Manafort and Trump continued to talk after the inauguration and after it was reported that Manafort was under FBI investigation.
When exactly did the second FISA warrant start? The reporters couldn’t figure that out.
What did FBI agents find when, as part of the FISA warrant, they conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort earlier this year?