October 25, 2017 / 4:38 PM / 2 months ago

Manhattan U.S. attorney adds to probes of ex-Trump aide Manafort: reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan is investigating Paul Manafort for potential money laundering, according to media reports, adding to other federal and state probes targeting President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager.

File photo: Paul Manafort looks down from the wings of the stage as Trump celebrates below after his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York launched the probe in conjunction with federal special counsel Robert Mueller, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Tuesday. Bloomberg separately reported that subpoenas had been issued in the case.

Representatives for Manafort did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, led by acting U.S. attorney Joon Kim, had no comment.

The probe marks the latest investigation of Manafort that comes amid the ongoing larger examination of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion by the Trump campaign and associates.

Separate investigations into Manafort’s financial transactions have been launched by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, including scrutiny of Manafort’s real estate deals.

U.S. investigators examining Manafort’s financial transactions are seeking to push him into cooperating with their probe into the possible collusion, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation have said.

Manafort, who headed the Trump campaign for several months before resigning, has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Mueller’s team and congressional investigators are also probing Manafort, whose Virginia apartment was raided by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July.

Russia has denied any meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign and has condemned the investigation as a political witch hunt.

Reports of the latest probe come as Trump is poised to appoint dozens of new U.S. attorneys across the United States, including in New York after seeking mass resignations earlier this year.

Kim took over as the Manhattan U.S. attorney when Trump fired Preet Bharara as part of the wave of resignations in March.

Earlier this month, Politico reported that Trump personally interviewed at least two candidates for the positions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, an unusual move that raised some questions given Trump’s business roots in New York.

The Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office is examining Kushner Cos, the company owned by the family of Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, according to the Journal.

The White House and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions have defended Trump’s right to talk with potential nominees, Politico said.

The U.S. Senate must approve whomever Trump nominates, a move that could be complicated by the Manafort and other probes.

Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld and Sarah Lynch; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tom Brown

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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