The Washington Post’s bombshell Wednesday report of an FBI raid at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home follows a familiar pattern of placing incriminating information related to the Trump-Russia investigation front and center, while burying the mitigating information deep within the article.
“Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee” The Post’s report began. “The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.”
The headline also reads, “FBI conducted predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Manafort’s home.”
It wasn’t until the sixth paragraph, of a very brief report, that the Post revealed: “The documents included materials Manafort had already provided to Congress, said people familiar with the search.”
The report included speculation of what the issuance of a search warrant could mean, positing that “investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.”
Readers are likely to associate the raid with trying to find info related to the Trump-Russia probe, however, by the 10th paragraph the Post reports that “Mueller has increased legal pressure on Manafort,” adding that Mueller is “consolidating under his authority a series of unrelated investigations into various aspects of Manafort’s professional and personal life.”
The raid may be searching for information Manafort didn’t even know he was being investigated for.
The Post notes near the end of the report that “Manafort’s allies fear that Mueller hopes to build a case against Manafort unrelated to the 2016 campaign,” hoping that Manafort will “provide information against others in Trump’s inner circle in exchange for lessening his own legal exposure.”
“It is frequent to threaten prosecution of a witness to get the witness to implicate others” Georgetown law professor Paul Rothstein told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Though Mueller’s “authority” pertains only to the Russia investigation, ”other prosecutors, however, might not be so constrained, and could pursue other investigations; and they could co-ordinate with Mueller’s investigation”
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