Paul Manafort just can't catch a break. Early on Monday, the Judge overseeing his case in DC denied his motion for bail. Then, later in the day, the Daily Beast reported that a second former associate of Manafort's rolled over on him in spectacular fashion.
Apparently this former employee, who's name is being withheld, led an FBI agent to a storage locker which contained tons of boxes of paperwork from Manafort's businesses and finances. Manafort is fighting to have these items thrown out of evidence, claiming this person had no legal right to hand them over to the FBI.
The details of this associate were disclosed in a filing made by Manafort's legal team on April 6, 2018, in which they asked the judge to block documents found in the storage unit in Alexandria, VA. They contend that the employee did not have the authority to let the FBI look in the storage unit, therefore violating Manafort's Fourth Amendment rights.
The filing stated that the FBI agent contact this former associate and during the course of the interview, the associate told the agent that he “performs a variety of functions for Manafort and his companies as directed by Manafort." The associate also told the agent that they had moved boxes of files from one storage unit to another shortly after Mueller was named special counsel. How soon after? Just NINE days. Yeah, that isn't suspicious at all.
So how did the associate gain access to the storage unit? He was listed as the occupant of the unit. Manafort and Gates are "person[s] with authorized access." So, the associate was fully able to open the unit and welcome the FBI agent. The associate also gave "written consent" to the agent to search the storage unit and unlocked it and gave them access.
What was in the boxes contained in the storage unit? The filing from Manafort says: “One box was marked as containing expenses, paid bills, invoices, and legal complaints. Another box was had info on the ‘Ukraine Campaign.’”
The agents determined that the box contents were "interesting" enough to warrant surveillance of the storage unit facility to monitor who was going in and out to retrieve files. It has not been disclosed (yet) what the FBI observed, in terms of visitors to the storage unit.