According to new reports, Paul Manafort, who chaired Donald Trump’s election campaign, has been wiretapped by the FBI over concerns about his ties to Russia, US media reported.
The reported observation provided by court order took place both before and after the 2016 elections.
Investigators wanted to know if Paul Manafort had sought Russian help with the campaign.
It is not known whether the wiretapping, which began in 2014, involved talks with President Trump. Paul Manafort is believed to be facing an indictment.
The former political consultant, who worked for the former ruling party in Ukraine, chaired Trump’s campaign from June to August 2016. He did not comment on the CNN report, which was confirmed by CBS News.
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FBI Special Adviser Robert Mueller is investigating alleged attempts by Russia to influence the 2016 election.
However, the orders of the Foreign Intelligence Oversight Act (FISA) were issued before the start of its investigation and were first authorized as part of an investigation by Washington-based consulting firms working for Ukraine, CNN reported.
Following the completion of the order in 2014, it was renewed until the beginning of this year to allow the FBI to investigate the links between Trump’s campaign collaborators and suspected Russian operatives.
Reports of Manafort’s wiretaps raised concerns among investigators that he had encouraged Russians to help with the election, citing three sources on CNN, although two sources said the evidence was not conclusive.
The FBI, as well as several congressional committees, are investigating whether Russia tried to interfere in the US election to help Donald Trump.
FBI agents raided Paul Manafort’s home in Washington on July 26, according to New York Times.
Agents had taken the lock from his home in Virginia while Paul Manafort was lying in bed looking for evidence that he had set up offshore bank accounts, the paper said.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, who lost the election to Donald Trump, said she would “not rule out” questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election if evidence of Russian interference emerged.