President Donald Trump warned Special Counsel Robert Mueller a couple days ago in an apparent threat saying “investigators would cross a red line” if they delved into his family’s finances unrelated to Russia.
The report was quoted in the New York Times based on an exclusive interview Trump gave there.
Well, Mueller has just responded. He is expanding his probe to also include Trump business transactions as well as those of his associates according to a person familiar with the probe.
Looks like Trump’s threat just added fuel to the fire.
FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development 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 person said.
Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary, as well as the efforts of Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and White House aide, to secure financing for some of his family’s real estate properties. The information was provided by someone familiar with the developing inquiry but not authorized to speak publicly.
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, according to the person.
Trump is of the personal opinion that any investigation outside of Russia matters would be below the belt, but the fact remains Trump’s business dealings with Russians has been ongoing for years – it’s simply not logical for Mueller to skip over that.
Trump also said during the interview that he still hasn’t ruled out firing Mueller, which is just insane. If Trump does, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have already come out publicly saying they would guarantee his impeachment if he ever actually went through with it. Trump’s own advisors have even strongly recommended against it.