A lawyer for President Donald Trump slammed the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller for a late-July raid by federal agents of Paul Manafort’s home.
John Dowd, a top Trump attorney, accused the special counsel investigators of “gross abuse of the judicial process” for conducting the raid, according to an email obtained by Fox News.
Paul Manafort is Trump’s former campaign manager. He was cooperating with investigators and appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee the day before the raid.
Mueller’s office never requested any documents before requesting a warrant to search Manafort’s home, raising questions about the actual intent of the raid, according to Dowd.
“These failures by Special Counsel to exhaust less intrusive methods is a fatal flaw in the warrant process and would call for a Motion to Suppress the fruits of the search,” Dowd wrote.
He added that the necessity of the warrant was “misrepresented to the Court which raises a host of issues involving the accuracy of the warrant application and the supporting FBI affidavit.”
In an email to a Wall Street Journal reporter, Dowd summarized his complaints that were later obtained by Fox News.
The actual intent of the raid, according to Dowd, was to produce “shock value,” in an attempt to intimidate Manafort. He also doubted the validity of the warrant, calling it an “extraordinary invasion of privacy.”
“In addition, given the obvious unlawful deficiencies, this extraordinary invasive tool was employed for its shock value to try to intimidate Mr. Manafort and bring him to his knees. These methods are normally found and employed in Russia not America,” he said.
The federal agents seized confidential documents that were prepared for Manafort by his lawyer to aid him in cooperating with the congressional committees, according to Dowd.
Fox News reached out to the special counsel’s office, which declined to comment.
The search warrant used for the raid appeared to indicate that the special counsel investigators did not trust Manafort to turn over all the necessary records, according to The Washington Post.
Manafort resigned from his post as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016 over speculation about his dealings with Ukraine.
Mueller was appointed to investigate alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. The investigation has since expanded into what Trump called a “witch hunt,” in this case reaching Manafort’s financial dealings, which likely have nothing to do with Trump or Russia.
The true intent behind the raid may be to find an unrelated crime to charge Manafort with, in order to get to Trump, according to Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News.
Ties to Comey Suggest Conflict of Interest for Special Counsel Mueller
By Joshua Philip
Epoch Times Staff
Following the June 8 testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, questions have begun swirling over whether Robert Mueller, the special counsel assigned to the Russia investigation, faces a conflict of interest due to his long-time relations with Comey.
The Washington Post reported that Comey and Mueller have been described “as law enforcement twins and ‘brothers in arms.'” The two have had a close relationship that goes back at least to 2003. Fox News reported that Mueller once called Comey “one of the finest people I’ve ever met.”
Comey admitted under oath that he leaked a memo from a meeting with Trump through a friend to The New York Times, and did this with the intention of having a special counsel assigned to the Russia investigation.
The Washington Examiner reported on June 7 that Comey “closely coordinated” with Mueller, who had been named special counsel on May 17, on Comey’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee.
Political observers are now pointing to staffing decisions Mueller has made as possibly showing a bias on the part of the special counsel.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote on Twitter on June 12, “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”
He pointed to people Mueller has hired to help on the case, which include at least three who have donated to Democratic presidential campaigns and organizations.
According to The Hill, these include Jeannie Rhee, who donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign PAC (political action committee) Hillary for America; Andrew Weissmann, who gave six donations to PACs for Obama in 2008, totaling $4,700; and James Quarles, who has donated to more than 12 Democratic PACs since the late 1980s.
Rhee previously represented the Clinton Foundation as an attorney and worked on a case related to Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
“I don’t think donations are disqualifying at all, but if you represented the Clinton Foundation or Clinton herself, that would be a bit disturbing to me,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), during a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on June 13.
Graham indicated he would make his displeasure known to the Justice Department, asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein how he could do so.