The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.
The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into
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.
John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, said on Thursday he was unaware of this element of the 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," he wrote in an email.
Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary. They are also examining 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.
...In a New York Times interview yesterday, President Trump left open the possibility he may attempt to fire Mueller if he strayed too far into the Trump family's finances. While how he would accomplish such a firing is questionable given how the special counsel law is structured, perhaps a more likely way for Trump to protect his family from such a financial investigation would be to issue pardons to anyone who might be a target of Mueller's probe. Indeed, Trump could even issue a pardon to himself. Whether Trump's choice is the firing of Mueller or issuing multiple pardons, either choice takes him one step closer to impeachment.