FBI Wiretapped Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort

Investigators listened in on former Trump campaign chairman’s calls before and after 2016 election, CNN reports

The U.S. government wiretapped the phone calls of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort before and after the 2016 presidential election, according to a report from CNN on Monday.

The surveillance originally stemmed from a 2014 FBI investigation looking into his connections to the government of Ukraine, and was authorized by the highly secretive court which oversees cases involving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The CNN report cited three unnamed sources who said the information collected “sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign,” though two of those sources cautioned that the evidence was not conclusive.

Surveillance resumed once Manafort became a person of interest in the Justice Department investigation into the Trump campaign’s involvement in the Russian interference of the 2016 election, and continued into early 2017.

Special counsel Robert Mueller was made aware of surveillance when he took over the investigation and was provided details of the evidence collected, according to CNN.

It is unknown if Donald Trump was picked up on the surveillance, but the president memorably tweeted back in March that the Obama administration had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower. The claim was later denied by the FBI and the Justice Department.

A New York Times report on Monday said Manafort was being aggressively pursued by Mueller’s investigation, and the former campaign official’s home was subject to a surprise FBI raid in July, with investigators seizing documents and computer files.

According to the report, Manafort was warned by investigators to expect an indictment.