It was reported that in the early hours of July 26, the day before Paul Manafort was to be before a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the FBI executed an early morning search warrant and raided one of his residences in Virginia. The former Trump campaign manager's spokesman, Jason Maloni, said that Manafort was cooperative with investigators during the raid. But the raid suggests that special prosecutor Robert Muller's team believes that Manafort has not been forthcoming enough, leading them to execute the warrant to get the information themselves.

The former campaign official had reportedly already turned over 400 pages of documents to the committee during that week.

Manafort's involvement in Russian collusion

It was reported that some of the information he turned over provided details of the meeting that he was part of at Trump Tower last year. The meeting involved Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with Kremlin-backed operatives in order to share "opposition research" against rival candidate Hillary Clinton. As it stands, Trump's critics believe that this is the hardest evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russian officials over the 2016 Presidential Election -- which various investigations conducted by government officials have been looking for.

Trump's record of firing investigators

Ever since Robert Mueller was named special prosecutor by the Justice Department, the Trump administration has reportedly been ramping up their efforts to go after the Special Prosecutor -- even going as far as threatening to fire him. President Trump has already fired a number of people involved with investigating his team such as the former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates who alerted him about Gen.

Michael Flynn.

The naming of the Special Prosecutor took place after Trump had also fired the FBI Director James Comey -- who was also investigating Flynn -- and Department of Justice prosecutor Preet Bharara (who was reportedly alerted to investigate Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price).

FBI raid a sign to Trump

In recent weeks, Mueller convened a grand jury for his investigation which had already developed into a criminal probe. In the same weeks, the President attacked his own Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions in public, saying that if he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, then he would have picked someone else for AG. One view has been that Trump is likely interested in replacing Sessions with someone who would not recuse themselves and would be able to fire Robert Mueller. But many also believe that the raid on Manafort's home was meant to show the administration that Mueller's team would not be intimidated and would be forceful in their ways.

Continuous denial by Trump administration

But justice officials have said, however, that this was not the case, and that they had to conduct the raid if they felt they were not getting everything they needed. But there have also been plenty of examples of Trump campaign aides repeatedly denying any connections with Russian officials, only to have to answer to reports that suggest otherwise. As a result, most of those aides have attacked the press for their reporting and have said that all of it is "fake news."

President Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" conducted by Democrats for losing the election. His lawyers have have also denied that there is even an investigation on Trump at all.

Recently, President Trump denied that he was trying to fire Mueller, and it was also reported that his legal defense recently shared memos but denied that they had any direct contact.

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