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Federal Bureau of Investigation had Paul Manafort wiretapped during election

Federal Bureau of Investigation had Paul Manafort wiretapped during election

Monday evening The New York Times and CNN both published exclusive bombshell reports about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Such warrants require the approval of top FBI and Justice Department officials, and law enforcement has to demonstrate to the court that there is reason to believe the subject of the investigation may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Two sources warned, however, that the information was not conclusive, according to CNN.

In order for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to receive the legal authority to engage in that surveillance, it needed to provide a FISA-empowered court with information that the targeted individuals could be acting as foreign agents. They originally became interested in Manafort due to his consulting work on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russia former Ukrainian president who's been accused of corruption. Lindsey Graham said that if true, Trump's wiretapping claims would be the "biggest political scandal since Watergate".

In the dossier, Steele cites a source who claimed that Manafort and Page were part of "a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation" between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership to help Trump win the presidency.

It's unclear when exactly the surveillance kicked back into gear, but CNN reports Manafort managed to recapture the FBI's attention when he was caught on intercepted communications with "Russian operatives".

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In other words, Trump Tower's "wires" were not the target; Paul Manafort was.

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention previous year in Cleveland.

Evidence from the wiretaps is now part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russians who meddled in the 2016 election.

Agents reportedly showed up at Manafort's house with a search warrant, combing through his Virginia home and taking away binders of documents, computer files, and even photos of his wardrobe.

The FBI was looking for evidence that Manafort had maintained a secret offshore bank account - possibly to obtain money from Russian operatives. Though much of Laurenza's work for Manafort is protected by attorney-client privilege, Mueller hopes to leverage several exceptions to the confidentiality duty to learn more about her work for the former Trump aide. In fact, it puts the president in even more legal jeopardy surrounding the Russian Federation investigation. We do know one of the taps existed at a time when Manafort had regular communications with Donald Trump, and we know that Bob Mueller now has the records of these communications and they could potentially lead to some further charges against Manafort in the future.

-What did Federal Bureau of Investigation agents find when, as part of the FISA warrant, they conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort earlier this year?