Manafort switches lawyers in Russian Federation probe


According to a source familiar with the investigation, Manafort was awoken by a group of armed FBI agents knocking on his bedroom door as they executed the warrant on July 26.

In his first public comments since the raid was made public this week by The Washington Post, Trump called Manafort "a very decent man" but said he hadn't spoken to him for a long time.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, is no longer being represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr as special counsel and former Wilmer partner Robert Mueller continues his investigation into the Trump campaign's Russian Federation ties.

"I thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever", Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club where he is on a "working vacation".

Trump said that the raid, which he considered a "tough" move, was a "very strong signal", but did not elaborate on what he believes it indicates.

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.

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Asked whether he has spoken to FBI Director Christopher Wray about the raid, Trump said, "No, I have not. I was surprised to see it".

Manafort has been a subject of a longstanding FBI investigation into his foreign dealings.

Trump also tried to minimize his relationship with Manafort, saying he only ran the campaign for "a very short period of time".

"Mueller and his staff may have decided that, despite the claims of cooperation from Manafort's lawyer, Manafort could not be trusted to provide all of the documents requested by subpoena", wrote Harvard Law School professor Alex Whitting, who served for a decade as a federal prosecutor at the Justice Department and the US Attorney's office in Boston.

Mr Manafort, who worked for years as a political consultant advising the pro-Russian Party of Regions and its leader, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, has denied any wrongdoing, saying his work in Ukraine was open and appropriate.