In another explosive development in the ongoing Trump-Russia scandal, CNN is reporting that U.S. investigators were wiretapping Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, before and after the election.
According to the report, the wiretaps were authorized via “secret court orders” and sources indicate that they may have revealed some damning intelligence.
More from CNN:
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.
What’s particularly troubling for the Trump administration is that, according to the report, three sources indicated that some of the information collected through wiretaps included “communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.”
According to CNN, “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.”
In other words, if Manafort did, in fact, encourage the Russians to assist the Trump campaign – the campaign he was running at the time – in defeating Hillary Clinton, Mueller has the records.
The CNN report comes as The New York Times also notes that an indictment could be on the way for the ex-Trump campaign chairman after his house was raided in July.
More from the Times report:
Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They 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.
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.
With Robert Mueller running an increasingly aggressive investigation into the Trump’s ties to Russia, Manafort’s possible indictment shows that nobody is safe, despite the administration’s tireless efforts to cover up any wrongdoing and thwart investigations.
If Trump and his presidential campaign coordinated with Moscow to tilt the election in their favor, it will eventually be revealed to the public. Or, as Jason Easley wrote a short time ago, “If incriminating tapes exist, it will be smoking gun that ends Trump’s presidency.”
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.