WASHINGTON – Special counsel Robert Mueller issued 15 search and seizure warrants and gathered more than hundreds of thousands of documents in the course of investigating President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business and campaign aide Rick Gates, according to new court filings.
In a status report on the case released by Mueller’s team on Friday, federal prosecutors said the government obtained more than 400,000 documents, including financial records, email communications, and corporate records. The prosecutor’s team also possesses imaged copies of 36 electronic devices such as laptops and phones.
The government prioritized foreign bank account records from Cyprus, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in its search. More than 116,000 domestic financial records are considered “particularly relevant,” according to court documents.
Separately, the government identified 2,000 other “hot” documents that could contain crucial information for the case. Those include the defendants’ statements to law enforcement and copies of the search warrants.
Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty Oct. 30 to charges of money laundering and conspiracy in the course of Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with Trump associates.
Mueller charged that both men secretly worked on behalf of pro-Russian factions in Ukraine, then laundered millions of dollars in profits through foreign bank accounts – and sought to cover up their work even while they held senior roles in Trump’s campaign.
Manafort and Gates have been largely confined to house arrest with GPS monitoring since the indictments were revealed.
BY: JULIA FAIR
Originally Published 3:19 p.m. EST Dec. 8, 2017