Manafort challenges evidence seized by Mueller

Manafort challenges evidence seized by Mueller
© Greg Nash

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortLewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy MORE filed a motion late Friday to suppress evidence special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE’s team found in a storage locker in Virginia.

Manafort is claiming that Mueller unlawfully had access to the business records in the unit because a former Manafort employer listed on the lease allowed entry. According to Manafort, the employee didn’t have the authority to allow a FBI agent into the unit.

During that visit, agent didn’t seize any records but “entered and observed a number of boxes and a filing cabinet inside the premises, as well as some writing on the sides of some boxes,” according to the filing.

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The agent wrote and signed an affidavit in favor of a search of the storage unit the next day, in May 2017, using “information he had obtained during his warrantless search” to argue in favor of a warrant to search and seize documents from the unit, the court documents state.

Manafort alleges that the initial search of the unit violates his Fourth Amendment rights because the agent did not have a warrant and that the former employee lacked the authority to let the agent in.

The documents seized during the search of the storage locker were used to support criminal charges against Manafort. He pleaded not guilty to money laundering and tax fraud charges.

Manafort’s legal challenge comes shortly after it was revealed Thursday that FBI agents had searched the Virginia storage locker.

This is the former Trump campaign head's latest attempt to challenge Mueller's investigation. Manafort had filed a lawsuit claiming that Mueller had overstepped the scope of his probe, but a federal judge rejected most of the arguments in the case on Wednesday.