According to Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s former campaign manager, the FBI had a responsibility to notify the campaign that Manafort was under investigation, which would have led to an informed decision about hiring him.
Speaking on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.,” Lewandowski said allegations against Manafort, who was indicted on a dozen charges Monday, should have been revealed to the campaign.
Lewandowski believes the FBI failed to notify himself, Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign that Manafort had been wiretapped before and after the election by U.S. investigators, under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
“If the public reports are true, and there was a time where Paul Manafort was under a FISA warrant before coming to the Trump campaign, why is it the FBI never reached out to me as the campaign manager, never reached out to Donald Trump and said, ‘Look, you might want to pause for a second and take a look before you bring this guy on board as a volunteer to hunt delegates for you,’” Lewandowski said.
“They never did that. He was under a FISA warrant, supposedly, both before and after his tenure at the campaign, and the FBI never notified the leading presidential candidate for a major Republican Party race? Never notified him of a potential problem? This is a problem with the FBI if you ask me.”
Lewandowski said allegations of wrongdoing by Manafort occurred before joining the Trump campaign, echoing a tweet sent out by the president.
“If Paul Manafort did something in 2006, a decade before he was brought on as a volunteer to the Trump campaign, then he should be accountable for that,” Lewandowski said. “And he and his associate Rick Gates have now been indicted on 12 counts of money laundering and probably tax evasion and probably other things, which have absolutely nothing to do with the campaign, have nothing to do with the Russia investigation, and have nothing to do with the president.”
The indictment against Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, does not reference President Donald J. Trump or his 2016 presidential campaign.