US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN.
…Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.
…The FBI interest in Manafort dates back at least to 2014, partly as an outgrowth of a US investigation of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president whose pro-Russian regime was ousted amid street protests. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was accused of corruption, and Ukrainian authorities claimed he squirreled millions of dollars out of the country.
…Investigators have spent years probing any possible role played by Manafort’s firm and other US consultants, including the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC, that worked with the former Ukraine regime.
…The Justice Department and the FBI have denied that Trump’s own “wires” were tapped.
While Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, it’s unclear whether FBI surveillance of him took place there.
Manafort has a home as well in Alexandria, Virginia. FBI agents raided the Alexandria residence in July.
The FBI also eavesdropped on Carter Page, a campaign associate that then candidate Trump once identified as a national security adviser. Page’s ties to Russia, including an attempt by Russian spies to cultivate him, prompted the FBI to obtain a FISA court warrant in 2014.