Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, was wiretapped by U.S. government

CNN reported that Paul Manafort, who worked for President Donald Trump's campaign past year before he resigned in August, was wiretapped before and after the November election.

The FBI obtained a secret court order to wiretap Manafort out of suspicion surrounding ties between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign associates.

Some of the intelligence data obtained triggered suspicions that Manafort urged Russian Federation to help Trump's election campaign, CNN said in a report, referring to its three sources, with two of them saying that the data are yet to be confirmed.

CNN added that two of its three unnamed sources admitted that their "evidence is not conclusive". That warrant eventually expired and nothing of note, or at least worthy of criminal charges, came up at the time so the surveillance was dropped.

Manafort is a key figure in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's involvement in the election.

Mueller's tactics and pace appear to be born out of a sense of urgency to make significant progress in the investigation before it can be accused of being a fishing expedition and the general sense of impunity of Trump associates, even those under investigation, that might require tougher treatment to ensure compliance.

And let's not forget, Manafort became Trump's campaign manager in June 2016 but was forced to resign two months later amid reports of his business relationship with the Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovich.

This time, it's the news that FBI investigators wiretapped Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort not once, but two times before and after the presidential election, per a CNN report.

The wide-ranging nature of Mr. Mueller's investigation could put him on a collision course with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly that Mr. Mueller should keep his investigation narrowly focused on last year's presidential campaign. 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.

Though the report could bode poorly for Manafort and Trump - if Manafort's communications show collusion - some conservatives cited the CNN report as a vindication for Trump.

A number of Donald Trump supporters are deliriously claiming the President has finally been vindicated over his claims Barack Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign. Federal agents had raided Manafort's Virginia house in July.

The surveillance included wiretapping and other types of searches that began in 2014, when Manafort was under investigation for work he did involving a group of Washington consulting firms for the former ruling party of Ukraine.

An unnamed USA official familiar with the intelligence later confirmed to CBS News that the federal government wiretapped Manafort.

The White House did not respond to CNN for comment.

However, leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month obtained transcripts by two senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials that revealed Comey had drafted a statement exonerating Clinton months before the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed her. And the details and words reported by CNN last night do nothing to exonerate Trump from his still-spurious claim that he was wiretapped.

  • Leroy Wright