Published September 20, 2017
Paul Manafort offered “private briefings” on the 2016 presidential race to a Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin while serving as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The offer apparently was made through an intermediary to aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, for whom Manafort had done work in the past, the outlet reported.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in an email in July of last year, according to the Post.
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told Fox News that the “exchange is innocuous” and suggested Manfort was working to collect fees from former clients.
“It is no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients after his work ended in 2014,” Maloni said.
The Post reported that Manafort’s email is included in the tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russia’s attempted interference in the 2016 election.
The Washington Post added there was no evidence in the emails that such a briefing took place or that Manafort’s message even made it to Deripaska.
The FBI’s raided Manafort's Virginia home in July. It lasted 10 hours and involved a dozen federal agents, who seized documents labeled “attorney-client,” according to a source close to the investigation.
A source described the raid to Fox News as "heavy-handed, designed to intimidate."
The source said both Manafort and his wife were asleep when FBI agents entered the Alexandria condo without warning at about 6 a.m. ET.
During the raid, agents copied the electronics through a process known in law enforcement circles as “mirroring” and collected records -- including several documents marked “attorney-client” that included privileged material to aid Manafort's preparation for congressional testimony, sources said.
The FBI raid came the same week Manafort appeared before the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees and provided documents on a voluntary basis.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.