The Special Counsel’s office just unsealed the search warrants used to raid former Trump Campaign manager’s home, and it contains key new details about the Russian election attack investigation.
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Mueller’s main purpose in the warrant was finding information about the Trump Campaign’s solicitation of dirt on Hillary Clinton from Russia’s government.
Special Counsel Mueller’s application for a July 2017 search warrant exposed that the FBI had a confidential source with key information within the campaign – and that former Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort’s tax returns formed part of the basis for authorizing the early morning raid.
The search warrant exposes Manafort’s close ties to a Russian oligarch so closely linked to the Kremlin that even the Trump Administration sanctioned him for participating in Russia’s 2016 election attacks against Hillary Clinton. Reuters reports:
In an affidavit attached to the July 2017 application, an FBI agent said he had reviewed tax returns for a company controlled by Manafort and his wife that showed a $10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Oleg Deripaska.
The affidavit unsealed on Wednesday also disclosed that Deripaska had financially backed Manafort’s consulting work in Ukraine when it started in 2005-2006, citing information from a source whose name was redacted, a sign that a former Manafort associate may have cooperated with the investigation.
Russian Oleg Deripaska’s relationship to Paul Manafort has one of the central focuses of the Mueller probe ever since last fall when the former Trump campaign manager’s emails to his former right-hand man in Ukraine – a suspected Kremlin spy – contained an offer of “private briefings” about the Republican presidential campaign.
Manafort’s deputy Konstantin Kilimnick called Deripaska the man who delivered the “black caviar”- meaning he paid him a massive amount of money to work for a pro-Kremlin political party.
Then in a totally improbable twist this spring, Putin’s top domestic political opponent, Alexander Navalny, stumbled onto proof of Manafort’s lender’s role in attacking America’s elections.
A Belarussian escort who took a trip on Deripaska’s yacht for a sex party with him and a top Kremlin official published a complete book and social media video record of the two men discussing information obtained from Manafort via his indicted co-defendant Kilimnik.
It should come as no surprise that Paul Manafort and Oleg Deripaska would continue to communicate through the 2016 presidential election because the AP reported last year that their relationship goes all the way back to 2005 when the American pitched the Russian on a $10 million annual contract.
Deripaska hired Manafort in early 2006.
Now that Oleg Deripaska is sanctioned by the US, he’s been forced to quit his role managing Russia’s largest aluminum company, Rusal, which he assembled in an often deadly business environment during the 1990s.
Konstantin Kilimnik has been indicted for witness tampering over his participation in Manafort’s attempts to influence witnesses in the case to lie about key details of Mueller’s indictments against him for concealing his unlawful foreign lobbying activity.
Slightly less than two weeks ago, Paul Manafort had his bail revoked by a DC district federal judge for his role in the witness tampering scheme, which he is appealing to DC’s circuit court of appeals.
Now we know that Oleg Deripaska’s $10 million loan to Paul Manafort sits at the center of Mueller’s follow the money probe, which raises tremendous questions about the timing of loans from the Russian oligarch to Trump’s campaign manager.
Because Oleg Deripaska sued Paul Manafort in 2014 seeking the return of $18.9 million he provided the American for an investment company that never launched, and the Washington Post reported that through and even after the campaign it was still an open matter.
If Deripaska was lending money to Paul Manafort after 2014 while he was supposedly suing him for disappearing with $18 million, the money trail could prove fatal to Trump’s campaign manager’s legal defenses.
Just yesterday, the conservative Virginia federal judge who denied Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss tax and mortgage fraud charges wrote plainly that prosecutors were squeezing him to get to Trump.
Today’s news proves that Special Counsel Mueller’s team of investigators has had the goods on Paul Manafort for a long, long time.
Watch Navalny’s video about Oleg Deripaska here.