ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CN) – Covering windows with trash bags to block onlookers’ view, two FBI agents raided a GOP consulting firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort on Thursday.
Agents entered Strategic Campaign Group around 8 a.m. on Thursday, much to the surprise of tenants inside. Though news of the raid sent shock waves through social media Thursday night, the firm’s president Kelley Rogers said the day’s raid only concerned work performed on the 2013 Virginia GOP campaign of former state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. Rogers said the raid was not tied to Manafort directly, whose business dealings with Russia are currently under intense scrutiny by the FBI.
Cuccinelli sued Strategic in 2014, claiming the company ran a political action committee which raised more than $2 million for his own campaign but spent woefully little of that money on him. He settled for $85,000.
The firm represents GOP candidates nationwide including the Tea Party, the Conservative Majority Fund and Maryland state House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and delegate Pat McDonough. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and members of the GOP caucus have also hired Strategic Campaign Group in the past.
Since news of the raid broke, Kipke and state Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings of Baltimore County have both said they will not use the firm until the company’s legal issues are resolved.
Neither Strategic Campaign Group nor the FBI immediately returned requests for comment.