Special counsel Robert Mueller and his expanding team of investigators have turned their attention to President Donald Trump, his company and his family’s business ties with Russia, CNN reported Thursday.
Such probing runs afoul of Trump’s supposed “red line” to the New York Times: that Mueller and his investigators ought not look into his business ties beyond what is directly relevant to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s investigation into Trump and his affiliates’ businesses has been reported previously — most recently by Bloomberg on July 20, and others. However, CNN’s reporting more extensively details the broadening scope of Mueller’s investigation:
[T]he FBI is reviewing financial records related to the Trump Organization, as well as Trump, his family members, including Donald Trump Jr., and campaign associates. They’ve combed through the list of shell companies and buyers of Trump-branded real estate properties and scrutinized the roster of tenants at Trump Tower reaching back more than a half-dozen years. They’ve looked at the backgrounds of Russian business associates connected to Trump surrounding the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. CNN could not determine whether the review has included his tax returns.
“This is like any investigation,” one unnamed person briefed on the investigation told CNN. “You start at the core and then move to the periphery. You have to explore the finances. Where this is going is no different from any investigation.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Mueller had recently impaneled a grand jury as part of his investigation, reflecting its scope.
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