- George Bennett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Paul Manafort, the former Donald Trump campaign chairman whose Northern Virginia home was recently raided by the FBI, lists Palm Beach Gardens as his primary residence and has been voting in Palm Beach County since 2012.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Va., before dawn on July 26 and took away documents as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
“Unnecessary theatrics,” said Manafort’s longtime friend, former business partner and fellow South Floridian Roger Stone. “Mueller’s abusing the process for theatrics…He must resign and if he doesn’t he has to be removed.”
A Manafort spokesman confirmed to The Palm Beach Post that one of Manafort’s residences was searched and said Manafort has been cooperating with authorities.
Manafort has a homestead exemption and is registered to vote at an address in BallenIsles Country Club, where he and wife Kathleen paid $1.5 million for a 5,231-square-foot home in 2007.
There was no indication Wednesday that the FBI has visited Manafort’s Palm Beach County home. Both Mueller’s office and the FBI in Washington, D.C. declined to comment Wednesday to The Palm Beach Post.
Manafort registered to vote in Palm Beach County in 2011, according to county election records. He voted in person at a Palm Beach Gardens polling place for Florida’s 2016 Republican presidential primary and at an early voting site for the general election.
Manafort has contributed to the federal campaigns of Republican candidates around the U.S., but not in Florida. He contributed personally to only one statewide race in Florida, giving $500 to former Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2002 re-election campaign.
Florida Division of Corporations records list Manafort as an officer in several limited liability corporations.
“He pretty much spends the winters in Florida,” said Stone, who lives in Fort Lauderdale. Stone said he has socialized with Manafort in New York and Washington but doesn’t believe he has done so in Florida.
Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, said he has cooperated with House and Senate committees looking into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election but has not been contacted by Mueller’s office or the FBI.
The FBI raid at Manafort’s Virginia residence took place a day after Manafort met voluntarily with Senate Intelligence Committee staff, The Washington Post reported.
“FBI agents executed a search warrant at one of Mr. Manafort’s residences. Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” said Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni.
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