By Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown. US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.
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. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is leading the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications. (Read more from “U.S. Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman” HERE)
Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Was Wiretapped by U.S. Government
By Harriet Sinclair. Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was wiretapped by U.S. investigators prior to and following the 2016 presidential election, sources claim. The wiretapping of Manafort as part of the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election came under court orders, sources with knowledge of the issue told CNN . . .
The investigation and surveillance of Manafort was subsequently dropped in 2016, the sources told CNN, but began once again under a new order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as part of the FBI’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s team and Russia in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the sources added.
Manafort, who denied any wrongdoing in August 2016 after The New York Times revealed that he was due to receive a cash payment from Ukraine’s ruling party, was also present at the controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, ahead of which Trump’s eldest son was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Although surveillance of Manafort is believed to have taken place both during the campaign and after Trump assumed office, no recordings of the meeting with Veselnitskaya — which has now become a part of the greater Russia probe – have been found. However, the surveillance period could have included times when Manafort spoke with Trump after the latter took office. (Read more from “Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Was Wiretapped by U.S. Government” HERE)