Russia Probe

Mueller expands probe to Trump’s business ties one day after Trump warned him not to

Just days after President Trump warned special counsel Robert Mueller not to include his business dealings in the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign, Bloomberg reports that Mueller is doing exactly that.

In an interview with The New York Times this Wednesday, Trump said that Mueller would be crossing a line if he includes his business ties in the probe into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia,” Trump told the Times.

According to Bloomberg, Mueller is expanding his probe to look into Russian purchases of Trump properties, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, a SoHo building project involving Russians, and the sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch. Trump’s lawyer John Dowd claims that the new inquiries are “well beyond the mandate of the special counsel,” adding that they’re “unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly … well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code.”

In a separate report this Tuesday, the Times revealed that Mueller is also investigating Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank, which has lent him money in the past.

From Bloomberg:

The roots of Mueller’s follow-the-money investigation lie in a wide-ranging money laundering probe launched by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year …

FBI agents had already been gathering information about Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, according to two people with knowledge of that probe. Prosecutors hadn’t yet begun presenting evidence to a grand jury. Trump fired Bharara in March. …

As part of their investigation, Mueller’s team has issued subpoenas to banks and filed requests for bank records to foreign lenders under mutual legal-assistance treaties, according to two of the people familiar with the matter.

As Bloomberg reports, the Justice Department’s instructions to Mueller mandates the investigation to focus on “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” suggesting a broader scope than just possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are scheduled to testify this Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The following week, Jared Kushner will testify before the same committee.

Featured image via Flickr

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