Trump campaign adviser was wiretapped under secret court orders

Trump campaign adviser was wiretapped under secret court orders

Trump campaign adviser was wiretapped under secret court orders

The wiretapping reportedly occured prior to the 2016 presidential election campaign as an inquiry into his work in Ukraine, and later as part of the investigation into President Donald Trump's advisers' connections with Russian Federation. Two of the network's sources cautioned that the intelligence was inconclusive. The network states a secret order was given by a court that handles Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests after the FBI began investigating Manafort in 2014.

Last year, investigators stopped the surveillance on Manafort for lack of evidence, but the process was restarted earlier in 2017 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a new FISA warrant.

In the original investigation, Manafort's firm as well as two others-the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC-came under suspicion after they performed extensive work for former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions government.

It does not seem that Manafort was wiretapped while he served as Trump's campaign chairman.

According to CNN, the initial investigation of Manafort fizzled and surveillance was discontinued in 2016.

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made similar claims during an interview with NBC on March 5, stating, "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign".

FBI special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an investigation into alleged attempts by Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election.

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". Some of the conversations listened to were reportedly with US President Donald Trump after he was elected.

It's unclear when exactly surveillance of Manafort restarted, but in August, CNN reported that USA intelligence intercepted suspected Russian intelligence officers discussing Manafort in the summer of 2016, months before the election.

The New York Times published a report about the FBI's dramatic raid on Manafort's home, during which agents allegedly tried to find proof, including tax documents and banking records, pertaining to Manafort's reported collaboration with Russian operatives.

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The intercepts were part of a wide-ranging Federal Bureau of Investigation counter-intelligence operation. A spokesperson for Manafort did not comment.

Mueller has aggressively pursued Manafort and his associates in recent months, issuing subpoenas compelling testimony from spokesman Jason Maloni and Melissa Laurenza, formerly Manafort's personal counsel.

Mueller obtained a search warrant of Manafort's Virginia residence in late July.

The report notes that it's unusual to indict someone before they have testified, but suggested it may be part of an effort to "bludgeon" Trump staffers into cooperating with the "Russia Narrative" investigation.

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 Russian Federation probe - have been found.

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