Former Donald Trump head of campaign Paul Manafort was wiretapped by the U.S. government investigators before and after the 2016 presidential election, Fox News informs based on a report by CNN.
The wiretapping was authorized by secret court orders. Manafort has been under close investigation over his financial dealings and lobbying efforts with pro-Russia and Ukrainian officials but has rejected any colluding with Russia.
The monitoring order was canceled in 2016, but investigators obtained another FISA warrant that stretched into early 2017, the report shows.
Some of the data that was obtained during the investigation allegedly showed that Manafort may have pushed for Russian officials to help try to get then-candidate Donald Trump elected. However, sources told the CNN the evidence was not definite.
According to this report, Manafort was not wiretapped during the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Manafort held a meeting with the attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya who was linked to Kremlin.
Manafort – who is a key figure in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election – had his Virginia home raided in July by the FBI agents who were looking for financial documents related to the election.
The FBI took some documents and other materials related to the Mueller’s investigation during the raid, just one day after Manafort had voluntarily met with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The raid was followed up with a warning to Manafort from Mueller’s prosecutors that they planned to indict him, The New York Times reported.