Robert S. Mueller III, the man appointed to replace Jeff Sessions as special counsel in the investigation of the ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, is not messing around.
With a flurry of subpoenas, Mueller targeted those associated with Paul J. Manafort and Michael Flynn. Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, also woke up on July 26 to find federal agents raiding his home. The NYT reports that the raid was conducted despite Manafort already being involved in the investigation’s interview process.
As The NYT notes (multiple times), this speed is uncharacteristic of a typical white-collar investigation. These kinds of investigations tend to meander for years before finally coming to any kind of conclusion. Mueller is known to not be a fan of protracted processes such as those, but he has another reason for his haste.
That reason is no less than three congressional committees that are interviewing the same people Mueller is. These interviews (especially if they go public) can give the interviewees time to line up their stories with each other. Mueller clearly doesn’t believe these people will be honest with him if they get a chance to coordinate. To that end, his agents picked the lock at Manafort’s home before seizing documents and taking photographs of any possible evidence. This is significant, as the NYT says:
To be allowed to pick the lock and enter the home unannounced, prosecutors had to persuade a federal judge that Mr. Manafort was likely to destroy evidence. Said Mr. [Jimmy] Gurulé, the former federal prosecutor, “Clearly they didn’t trust him.”