Tonight CNN broke news that Paul Manafort has been wiretapped since sometime in 2016 based on a FISA warrant. This wiretapping expired and was then restarted based on new information sometime early this year.
CNN reports that "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." Whoo doogie. No idea if Trump was picked up on their wiretaps, but it is likely, since Manafort was his campaign manager and we know much Trump loves his phone.
Sources say that the resuming of the wiretap was related to "suspicion that the subject [Manafort] of the warrant may be acting as an agent of a foreign power." Manafort has denied "knowingly" communating with Russian intelligence operatives, but that may just be a fancy way over CYA if he "unknowingly" talked to them, you know, by accident.
Oh, and another breaking Manafort story, this one from the New York Times. This one is related to the July "no knock" raid on Manafort's Virginia home. The New York Times reports that the agents "took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet."
As a reminder, to get a warrant, Mueller had to show that there was probable cause that Manafort's home showed evidence of a crime. And to get the elevated "no knock" warrant required an even more forceful argument that, if given the chance, Manafort would destroy this evidence. That is a pretty high bar to meet.
So what happened next? Are you ready? Are you sitting down?
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.
Both Mueller's office and lawyers for Paul Manafort refuse to comment. It has been reported that Manafort is under investigation for possible violations of tax laws, money-laundering prohibitions and requirements to disclose foreign lobbying.