Federal Bureau of Investigation allegedly wiretapped Paul Manafort before, after election

Manafort left the Trump campaign last August after questions about his work in Ukraine

However, in May of Donald's Trump campaign, Paul Manafort comes along, works as Donald Trump's campaign manager until about August, when he is let go.

CNN reported that the surveillance stopped in 2016 over "lack of evidence", but was reinstated in 2017.

The monitoring stretched into 2017 following the renewal of the FISA warrant after the first one was discontinued a year ago.

Warrants issued by the court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are based on probable cause that a person is an agent of a foreign power.

The newspaper also noted the differences between how Mueller's team handles its two most high-profile subjects: Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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Crucially, neither Trump nor Trump Tower were not wire tapped, a fact confirmed previously by the Department of Justice and then-FBI Director, James Comey (who was later fired by Trump). The second warrant was obtained as part of the FBI's investigation into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives, it said. According to CNN, Manafort was under surveillance before the 2016 election, but the work was discontinued due to a lack of evidence at some point a year ago. Lindsey Graham said that if true, Trump's wiretapping claims would be the "biggest political scandal since Watergate".

According to the report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation started to investigate Manafort in 2014 due to his alleged involvement in cooperation with the former ruling party of Ukraine. CNN reported in February that Manafort "regularly" communicated with Russian individuals during his time on the Trump campaign, but Manafort denied speaking with any officials or operatives from the Russian government itself.

Contact between the two continued beyond Manafort's tenure as campaign chairman and after it was publicly known that Manafort was under FBI investigation. Robert Mueller's team executed an unannounced search of his property and confiscated files earlier this year. CNN reports that "t$3 he Federal Bureau of Investigation interest in Manafort" dates back to when he was working on behalf of pro-Putin interests in Ukraine in 2014.

A spokesperson for Mueller did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.

That's part of a scorched-earth strategy on Mueller's part, detailed in The New York Times Tuesday. The investigation is also considering whether Manafort was involved in money laundering, violating tax laws, or improperly lobbying, it said. Or if they were listening in the final days of the campaign. The strategy is "shock and awe", in the Times' assessment, and one attorney quoted described how "it's important early on to strike terror in the hearts of people in Washington".

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