Manafort’s Personal Assistant Gave FBI Access To Evidence In Storage Locker: Report
A personal assistant to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort granted FBI investigators access to a storage locker that contained a cache of evidence Manafort is trying to suppress, Reuters reported Friday.
Citing testimony of FBI special agent Jeff Pfeiffer before a federal court hearing on Friday, Reuters reports that Manafort’s assistant, Alex Trusko, told him he had moved numerous documents to the locker at Manafort’s request after reporters tipped the FBI off to its existence. Those documents are reportedly related to numerous charges against Manafort for financial crimes.
Pfeiffer, who searched the locker, revealed the disclosure in a hearing to determine whether evidence in the locker could be used in Manafort’s trial, which is set for July.
As noted by Reuters, “Manafort’s lawyers have sought to suppress the searches as part of a broader attempt to discredit the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether Trump’s campaign worked with Russia to sway the election. Manafort, who is now in jail, has been charged mainly for financial crimes not related to the campaign.”
The lawyers said FBI agents who searched Manafort’s storage locker committed an illegal warrantless search, even though the assistant who unlocked the unit was listed on its lease and the FBI agent obtained a warrant to seize the records stored inside the unit.
Manafort, who faces numerous charges for financial crimes, is now seeking to suppress evidence in Virginia obtained in a raid of his home. He has pleaded not guilty to charges in Washington and Virginia.