it's mueller time
Mueller's latest known warrant for Paul Manafort was issued a week after partner Rick Gates took a plea deal
On Thursday night, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office released a trove of documents related to its case against Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, in response to a request for more information from Manafort's lawyers. The new documents contain seven search warrants, four of which are partially redacted because prosecutors are withholding names of informants or information about ongoing investigations.
One of the warrants, for data from five AT&T phone numbers, was obtained on March 9, which is two weeks after Mueller issued his second indictment against Manafort, suggesting that Mueller's team might still be investigating new lines of inquiry against Manafort. He and Rick Gates were first indicted in October for fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. The new phone-related affidavit "contains redactions — albeit more substantial ones — relating to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort," Mueller's filing states.
It isn't clear how the five phone numbers relate to Manafort, but Politico notes that Manafort's defense team accidentally revealed in January that at least one employee in a Manafort consulting business was cooperating with the FBI. Perhaps more ominously, The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross points out, "the timing of the warrant is also significant in that it was issued a week after former Manafort business partner Gates accepted a plea deal with Mueller's team."
"The government has said they have a continuing investigation," Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said at last week's hearing, where he asked for more information from Mueller's team. Earlier this week, Mueller's office said that the Justice Department had authorized it to specifically investigate if Manafort colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. So far, Mueller has charged 19 people, including 13 Russians; five people have pleaded guilty; and one person has already been sentenced.