Manafort former Employee leads FBI to stash of financial/other documents

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Legendary Cowboy
Aug 31, 2007
Stupid about AGW!!
Per a court filing on April 6th 2018 it has come to light that a Manafort employee Alexander Trusko led FBI agents to a storage unit of documents

In the court documents The employee (who is redacted in the court filing but named in other documents by Manafort's attorneys) said that 9 days after Rod Rosentstein named Bob Mueller special counsel, Manafort told the employee to go to a storage unit Manafort leased and move several boxes from it and to a different storage unit. The storage unit the employee moved the boxes too is not leased by Manafort, but has Manafort and Rick Gates listed as authorized people to access.

The employee led FBI agents to the storage facility and the manager gave the FBI a copy of the lease for the storage unit. At this point Alexander Trusko (the occupant and owner listed on the Lease) gave the FBI written consent to search the unit and opened it himself for the FBI agents.

Inside they found 21 boxes of documents and a filing cabinet. They collected some of the boxes of documents, one named Ukraine Binders, One box called Ballot Security, One about the the country Georgia, one called research, and one called Ukraine Campaign.

Based on the contents of the unit the FBI set up surveillance of the facility to see if anyone would approach it to attempt to take the files. The FBI agents field report on the documents found was over 20 pages long due to the content discovered.

This was all unknown until 4 days ago when Manafort's Lawyers filed a motion ask the Federal Judge to block all these documents found in the storage unit from being used as evidence. They are arguing the employee who led the FBI to the unit did not have authority to let FBI agents into the storage unit and therefore the FBI violated Manafort's Fourth Amendment Rights in doing so.

The person who led them to the storage unit and opened it for them was listed as the owner on the the hell does Manafort's lawyers think that person wouldn't have legal access to it
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Free Harambe!
A/V Subscriber
Feb 28, 2007
Former aide tells Congress of extravagant spending by EPA's Scott Pruitt

By Gregory Wallace and Sara Ganim, CNN

Updated 4:05 PM ET, Thu April 12, 2018

Washington (CNN)Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt routinely directed staffers to book expensive hotels, help him earn frequent flier miles and schedule meetings to align with his personal travel desires, a former top staffer told congressional investigators.Former EPA deputy chief of staff, Kevin Chmielewski also said Pruitt was aware of major raises given to other aides, rebutting Pruitt's account that he was unaware of the salary bumps.The allegations are laid out in a letter several Democratic members of Congress sent Pruitt and President Donald Trump on Thursday. The letter says the new information about how Pruitt has run the agency reveal actions that are "unethical and potentially illegal."

Chmielewski is currently on unpaid leave from the agency after raising concerns about Pruitt's travel practices and uses of resources and funds.

Among the allegations:
• Pruitt declined to use State Department-approved overseas hotels that already had security in place, preferring more expensive hotels with higher security costs.
• Pruitt requested aides to schedule official business in cities he wanted to visit.
• Pruitt directed staffers booking his travel on Delta to maximize his personal frequent flyer miles.
• Pruitt used the agency's scheduling director as a "personal real estate representative."
• Pruitt wanted staff to find reasons for him to visit his home state of Oklahoma.
• Pruitt spent more than the $5,000 allowed by law to decorate his office, including refinishing an antique desk, buying a standing desk and paying leases for art on loan from the Smithsonian.
"We will respond to Members of Congress through the proper channel," the agency's spokesman, Jahan Wilcox, told CNN in a statement.
The EPA has previously defended Pruitt's travel and security practices, and Pruitt argued in recent interviews his lease was ethically sound. EPA has also said Chmielewski is among "a group of disgruntled employees who have either been dismissed or reassigned."
Chmielewski confirmed in a brief phone interview that the letter from Democratic members of Congress laying out his closed-door testimony is accurate. He has met with both Democratic and Republican members of Congress as part of inquiries into Pruitt.
"This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. This is right and wrong. I will meet with whoever wants to meet with me," Chmielewski told CNN.
Hotel choices
The letter reveals that when Pruitt was planning a business trip last year to Australia, he ignored State Department recommendations.
"Mr. Chmielewski claimed that you refused to stay at hotels recommended by the U.S. Embassy, although the recommended hotel had law enforcement and other U.S. resources on-site," the letter reads. "He alleged you chose to stay instead at more expensive hotels with fewer standard security resources, and to bring your security team with you, at taxpayer expense."
Pruitt's hotel choices have also required his security detail to pay for rooms out of their own pockets.
"According to Mr. Chmielewski, you frequently stayed in hotels that exceeded the allowable U.S. government per diem," the letter said. "He added that while you were reimbursed for these expenses, on some occasions members of you security detail were not reimbursed for the portion of their expenses that exceeded allowable maximums."
First class travel and pay raises
Chmielewski told investigators he was sidelined at Pruitt's direction after refusing to retroactively approve a first-class plane ticket for another EPA political appointee, Samantha Dravis. Dravis announced last week that she is leaving the agency later this month.
"He told our staffs that following his refusal, chief of staff Ryan Jackson called Mr. Chmielewski into his office and informed him that you wished to fire or reassign him," the Democratic members of Congress wrote to Pruitt.
Chmielewski told congressional investigators that he had personal knowledge -- through a conversation with Jackson -- that Pruitt was involved in the raises given to his agency attorney and the scheduling director.
Pruitt denied in a Fox News interview that he knew of the raises prior to a report by The Atlantic that uncovered the raises -- one for $57,000 and another for $28,000.
But Chmielewski said the administrator was in the know.
"Mr. Chmielewski explained that he was called into your Chief of Staff's office and told that you wanted to move him out of his position in order to give Ms. Hupp his title and a pay increase," the letter to Pruitt reads.
The raises were "100% Pruitt himself," Chmielewski told the investigators. The letter did not specify if Chmielewski has personally discussed the raises with Pruitt.

EPA confirms existence of emails about pay raises, but insists there is no evidence Pruitt knew about them
CNN's Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report