Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter.
The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.
The two teams have shared evidence and talked frequently in recent weeks about a potential case, these people said. One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.
No decision has been made on where or whether to file charges. “Nothing is imminent,” said one of the people familiar with the case.
Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has previously denied it. A spokesman for Manafort didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.
A representative for Mueller’s office declined to comment, as did the New York attorney general’s office.
People close to Manafort say the team has pressured him by approaching family members and former business partners. A number of other firms and people who have worked with him have received subpoenas.
Federal agents also conducted an early-morning raid at Manafort’s home in late July, seizing documents and other items.
Manafort did not resist the search, his spokesman Jason Maloni said at the time of the raid.
State and federal prosecutors believe the prospect of a presidential pardon could affect whether Manafort decides to cooperate investigators in the federal Trump investigation, said one of the people familiar with the matter.
While Trump has not signaled any public intention to pardon Manafort or anyone else involved in the Russia investigations, the president has privately discussed his pardon powers with his advisers.
Mueller’s team has been looking into Manafort’s lobbying work and financial transactions, including real estate deals in New York.
Schneiderman has a contentious history with Trump. The president has mocked him relentlessly on social media and TV, denouncing him as a “hack” and “lightweight.”
The attorney general won a $25 million settlement last November after a lengthy investigation into fraudulent practices at Trump University. The president said he settled just to have the matter behind him, though his previous mantra was never to settle cases.
The New York prosecutor’s office also is looking into some of Trump’s business transactions and could potentially share those records with Mueller’s team, one of these people said. Those inquiries are in the preliminary stage.
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