Manafort spokesman, attorney issued subpoenas in Russia investigation

UPDATE — 8:20 p.m. EDT: Politico is reporting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is working with White House special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal probe of Paul Manafort’s finances related to foreign political activity.

Inside sources cited said both investigative teams have found evidence that indicate Manafort violated federal money laundering laws, but the move to bring charges is not “imminent.”

If Manafort were to be charged with crimes on the state-level, President Trump would not be able to pardon his former campaign manager.

 

The special counsel leading the investigation into allegations the Trump campaign intrigued with Russian officials to tilt the balance in the November 2016 presidential election has issued subpoenas to the both the former attorney and current spokesman for Paul Manafort.

According to sources close to Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe, subpoenas were issued Tuesday to lawyer Melissa Laurenza and communications specialist Jason Maloni.

Mr. Manafort’s Alexandria, Va., home was raided by federal agents on July 26.  It is believed Mr. Mueller was seeking records related to Manafort’s business dealings and possible violations to the Banking Act.

Spokespersons representing Mueller, Maloni and Laurenza did not respond to requests for comment over the issue of subpoenas.

Laurenza is currently in private practice with the Washington, D.C., firm Akin Gump, where she specializes in state and federal campaign law.  Mr. Maloni continues in his role as a spokesman for Mr. Manafort and runs his own public relations company in Bethesda, Md.

It was not immediately clear why Ms. Laurenza was summoned, but Wall Street Journal sources suggest it may be related to the special counsel’s investigation of the possibility Manafort violated federal money laundering and lobbying laws.

Served on Monday evening, Mr. Maloni was told to provide all records related to his relationship with Manafort dating to 2010 before appearing in front of a grand jury.

Similarly, on Tuesday, President Trump’s son, Donald Jr., struck an agreement with members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  Asked to testify in public hearings in July, Trump has agreed to testify privately with senior committee staff in front of panel members.

The younger Trump has agreed to turn over 250 pages of documents to the committee, but no date has been set for him to testify.

At the center of one chapter of the probe into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, Trump Jr. reportedly met with a Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, on June 9, 2016, after receiving word Veselnitskaya had information damaging to then-Democratic presidential foe, Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. has said the meeting was virtually useless.

 

[CNN] [Wall Street Journal] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via ABC News]