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Manafort changes legal team as investigations expand

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Paul Manafort, former adviser to President Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, is changing lawyers as his financial transactions get more government scrutiny, sources close to the matter said.

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for President Trump, announced Thursday that he is changing legal representation as a federal investigation into his financial transactions accelerates. (File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI)

Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni announced in a statement Thursday that “Mr. Manafort is in the process of retaining his former counsel, Miller & Chevalier, to represent him in the office of special counsel investigation.”

The Washington law firm WilmerHale has represented Manafort to this point.

Kevin Downing, a former official in the Department of Justice known for representing clients and firms facing complex financial investigations, will be Manafort’s new principal attorney, Politico reported on Thursday.

Politico’s report suggested that the change in representation could be a signal that Manafort now needs special criminal counsel.

Manafort has emerged as a central figure in several U.S. investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Federal authorities executed a search warrant at his Alexandria, Va., home on last month, it was revealed this week.

Documents and other material were seized in the raid, and Manafort has voluntarily surrendered thousands of pages of documents to Congressional investigating committees, his spokesman said.

Written by UPI writer Ed Adamczyk

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Manafort changes legal team as investigations expand