Manafort switches legal team as special counsel probe heats up

Manafort switches legal team as special counsel probe heats up
© Greg Nash

President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is switching legal teams as the federal investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller heats up.

Manafort is no longer being represented by the Washington, D.C., law firm WilmerHale and is in the process of retaining his former counsel, Miller & Chevalier, according to a statement from a spokesman.

“Mr. Manafort is in the process of retaining his former counsel, Miller & Chevalier, to represent him in the office of special counsel investigation. As of today, WilmerHale no longer represents Mr. Manafort," Jason Maloni said in the statement.

WilmerHale is also the firm where Mueller worked before taking over as special counsel to lead the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

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The news comes just a day after it was revealed that FBI agents raided Manafort's home late last month for documents and other materials related to the federal probe.

Mueller, a former FBI director, has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to subpoena witnesses and documents for his investigation.

"FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort's residences," a spokesperson for Manafort said Wednesday. "Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well."

Trump commented on the predawn raid Thursday, referring to it as "pretty tough." 

“I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man,” Trump said in New Jersey. “I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there. I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”