From The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. authorities placed Paul Manafort under surveillance after he was ousted as Donald Trump’s campaign manager in the summer of 2016, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.
The surveillance, which was part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election, didn’t involve listening to Mr. Manafort’s phone communications in real-time, the officials said.
Investigators have reviewed intelligence reports suggesting he was in contact with Russian operatives as early as 2015, according to current and former U.S. officials. In the spring of that year, U.S. spy agencies captured Russian government officials discussing associates of Mr. Trump, including Mr. Manafort, the officials said.
In some cases, the Russians in the overheard conversations talked about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers, the current and former officials said.
Those reports could have provided a basis for seeking a warrant to monitor Mr. Manafort, even months after the conversations occurred, if they indicated he was working on the Russian government’s behalf, one official said.
This seems like a big deal — the head of the Trump campaign was himself an agent of Russia, perhaps. The collusion is baked right in. Some on Twitter have been wondering today if Manafort was sent to the Trump campaign by the Kremlin.
It is somewhat infuriating that America is only learning about this now, AFTER the election.