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FBI searches home of ex-Trump aide

WASHINGTON: A raid on the Virginia home of US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign manager showed the investigation of possible ties between the campaign and Russia is growing.

It also focused on the financial dealings of Mr Trump's associates, sources said.

Long-time political consultant and lobbyist Paul Manafort is being investigated for money laundering and has been targeted as someone who might testify against former colleagues, said two people familiar with the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe.

Mr Manafort's spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed on Wednesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at one of Mr Manafort's homes.

The apartment in Alexandria was raidedlast month, The Washington Post reported.

The previous day, Mr Manafort had met Senate Intelligence Committee staff, the newspaper reported.

Tax documents and financial records were sought by agents in the raid, The New York Times reported.

Mr Mueller's team is poring over Mr Manafort's financial and real estate records in New York and his involvement in Ukrainian politics, the sources told Reuters last month.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said the raid was "typical of the most serious criminal investigations dealing with uncooperative or untrusted potential targets".

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has been trying to track money that Mr Manafort used to buy properties in New York, and looking into millions of dollars of loans later taken out on the properties, according to a source.

The prosecutor issued a subpoena to Federal Savings Bank, a small Chicago bank founded by a former Trump campaign adviser, and is interested in the loan paperwork, the source said.

The New York Attorney General's office is also looking into Mr Manafort's real estate transactions.

A question investigators are asking is whether Mr Manafort knew of Trump campaign dealings with Russia.Congressional committees are looking at a June 2016 meeting a Russian lawyer had with Mr Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. Mr Manafort attended the meeting. - REUTERS

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