You can almost feel him sweating.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is growing in scope and depth. Increasingly at the center of the investigation is former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington and has executed a search warrant on Manafort’s Virginia home.
The Heat Rises on Manafort
As the investigation intensifies, Paul Manafort is increasingly looking like a central figure in the probe. There are currently several investigations involving Manafort and his financial dealings. Special Counsel Mueller took all of those cases and put them all together and under his authority.
It was reported this week that the FBI executed a pre-dawn raid on Manafort’s northern Virginia home. They seized documents from the home as they executed the search warrant, that was signed off on by a federal judge.
Additionally, Mueller has subpoenaed some financial institutions with which Manafort had dealings. Mueller is examining Manafort’s work on the Trump campaign and also his consulting and personal finances.
In what appears to be a response to the increasing pressure on Manafort from Mueller and the investigation, Manafort has changed his legal team. Manafort was previously represented by WilmerHale. His attorney from WilmerHale, Reg Brown, led the congressional investigations practice.
Manafort has now retained counsel from Miller & Chevalier. The Washington firm specializes in complicated financial crimes. The switch signals an understanding by Manafort that he needs a criminal lawyer with experience in financial crimes and prosecutions.
Manafort will be represented at Miller & Chevalier, by Kevin Downing. Downing is a former Justice Department official and is known for representing clients who are facing investigations into complicated financial crimes.
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement, “Mr. Manafort is in the process of retaining his former counsel, Miller & Chevalier, to represent him in the office of special counsel investigation. As of today, WilmerHale no longer represents Mr. Manafort.”