Manafort Claims Mueller Unlawfully Seized Evidence From Storage Unit – Talking Points Memo

Manafort Claims Mueller Unlawfully Seized Evidence From Storage Unit – Talking Points Memo.

by Nicole Lafond
President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is asking a judge to exclude evidence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators obtained from one of his storage lockers in Virginia last May, claiming they obtained the evidence unlawfully.

In a new motion filed late Friday, Manafort claims Mueller’s team entered his storage facility without a warrant on May 26, 2017 after one of his former employees allowed an FBI agent to enter. Manafort claims that the ex-employee — whose name is redacted in the filing — didn’t have permission to let the agent into the unit, even though the ex-employee’s name was listed on the lease, according to the attached affidavit.

During May 26 visit, the agent “entered and observed a number of boxes and a filing cabinet inside the premises, as well as some writing on the sides of some boxes,” according to the filing. The agent then used what he observed to obtain a warrant the next day to confiscate documents from Manafort’s storage unit, which Manafort claims was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, according to the filing. The filing includes a redacted version of the search warrant and the supporting affidavit from the FBI agent who conducted the search.

The search was executed just a little over a week after Mueller was appointed as special counsel. In October, Mueller brought a slew of charges in Washington, D.C., alleging financial crimes and failure to disclose foreign lobbying against Manafort and his longtime business partner, ex-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates. Gates pleaded guilty in February and is cooperating with Mueller’s probe. Mueller meanwhile, filed a superseding indictment for the Washington, D.C. case, and a second criminal case against Manafort in Virginia. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Read the new filing below: · by Nicole Lafond

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