Seth Connell reports that President Trump told special prosecutor Robert Mueller that he should remain out of business and financial transactions that were not related to the Russia probe. But just this morning, Mueller went ahead and did exactly that.
The probe by the Office of Special Counsel will now look into various business dealings by the Trump business that are apparently believed to have connection to the Russian meddling.
Bloomberg News reports that the probe will now examine transactions involving the President and several of his associates.
The transactions which are coming under scrutiny are several real estate deals which the he conducted with certain wealthy Russians over the past several years.
Now, this normally would not be a surprise; Donald Trump is a real estate mogul and holds incredible amounts of property all over the world. The fact that he did business with some people from Russia is not something that is alarming. But because of rampant Russophobia, any and all things having anything to do with anyone Russian, at any point in his life, must be placed under investigation.
FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the [source] said.
Another probe involves an alleged money-laundering scheme with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. However, the dealings of that issue are actually within in the purview of the special counsel’s mandate. Expanding the probe into Trump’s business dealings, those happening way before he ever filed for candidacy, are not within the purview of the Russian meddling investigation.
“Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” Trump attorney John Dowd wrote in an email.
The dealing with the Miss Universe Pageant involved a wealthy Russian paying Trump $20 million for hosting the pageant in Moscow. But that was back in 2013, The Daily Caller notes.
Now, Aglarov and his son are being scrutinized for reaching out to the Trump campaign, claiming they had “damaging evidence” against Hillary Clinton.
Agalarov and his son are currently under scrutiny because of their involvement in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower hosted by Donald Trump Jr.
Remember though that the meeting was actually about a Russian policy that forbids Americans from adopting Russian orphans. The “damaging evidence” bait appears to have been a red-herring, a lure to bring them into another issue.
But timeline aside, Mueller still wants to expand the probe beyond just Russian meddling. It appears that he wants to go after Trump himself, and place the President under investigation. Though Trump himself is not currently under investigation, that may change soon at this rate.