Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director who now serves as Special Counsel in the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 election, is known for playing hardball to get the information he wants.
The Special Counsel’s tactics are now facing scrutiny over his treatment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his wife in a no-knock raid at their home in July. According to The Washington Times, the FBI agents manhandled Manafort and his wife, frisking Mrs. Manafort as she lay in bed to see if she had firearms on her person.
A source close to the case said FBI agents did not give Kathleen Manafort–who works as an attorney on her husband’s multi-million dollar real estate acquisitions–the opportunity to get out of bed before they patted her down.
According to the source, the aggressive raid–entailing 12 agents entering the Alexandria, Virginia, home with guns-drawn and no prior notice–fits the style of Mueller’s top prosecutor, Andrew Weissman, a former New York mob prosecutor known for putting pressure on spouses.
“Weissmann will want to maximize the trauma to his family,” said Sidney Powell, a Dallas appeals attorney who takes issue with the tactics. Paul Manafort has been indicted on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent in his lobbying work for Ukrainian clients.
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment document reads. Nevertheless, the indictment does not mention tax evasion.
Manafort briefly served as the head of the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, before he was fired, in part, because of allegedly illicit payments from a Ukrainian political party that supports close ties to Russia.
But the indictment against Manafort and his business partner, Richard Gates, is unrelated to his work for President Trump. That fact has led to substantial criticism from prominent public figures in Washington.
As Christian News Alerts noted, one of those critics is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who says the Mueller probe has strayed away from its intended purpose in going after Manafort for issues unrelated to the 2016 election. “I think what you’re seeing is exactly why special prosecutor is a bad idea,” Sen. Paul told Fox News. “You know, they’re not doing anything with Russia. They’re trying to look at people’s taxes from a long time ago that have nothing to do with President Trump.”
Mueller himself has come under scrutiny, with observers questioning his objectivity. In addition to his close relationship with former FBI Director James Comey–whose firing by President Trump began the events that led to the commission of the Special Counsel–Mueller, while FBI Director, oversaw the bureau’s purging of anti-terrorist materials deemed “offensive” by Muslim advocacy groups, as reported by Christian News Alerts.
The FBI inappropriately handled Manafort’s arrest. Should Mueller apologize?
Conservative lawmakers say they would like Mueller to place greater focus on the Clinton-Uranium One scandal, in which the Clinton State Department authorized a 2013 deal that sold 20 percent of America’s uranium supply to a Kremlin-backed company.
According to Breitbart, The Clinton Foundation received tens of millions of dollars in donations from people involved in the deal, including from Russian nuclear officials. Meanwhile, the FBI at the time knew that a subsidiary of the Russian firm Rosatom, which purchased Uranium One, was involved in extortion and bribery.
There appear to be far more serious crimes to look into among Democrats. Hopefully, investigators will dedicate their time to those crimes and treat the accused with more decency than they showed to Mrs. Manafort.