Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization, demands documents about Russia

IANS
Friday, 16 March 2018

Washington: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to the ongoing probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the media reported.

The order is the first known instance of Mueller demanding records directly related to Donald Trump's businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the President, informed sources told The New York Times late Thursday.

Washington: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to the ongoing probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the media reported.

The order is the first known instance of Mueller demanding records directly related to Donald Trump's businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the President, informed sources told The New York Times late Thursday.

The breadth of the subpoena was not clear, nor was it clear why Mueller issued it instead of simply asking for the documents from the company, an umbrella organisation that encompasses Trump's business ventures.

Mueller ordered the Trump Organization to hand over records related to Russia and other topics he is investigating, the people said.

The subpoena is the latest indication that the investigation, which Trump's lawyers once regularly assured him would be completed by now, will continue for at least several more months, the sources told the daily.

The news of the subpoena comes as Mueller appears to be broadening his inquiry to examine the role foreign money may have played in funding Trump's political activities.

In recent weeks, Mueller's investigators have questioned witnesses, including an adviser to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), about the flow of Emirati money into the US, reports The New York Times.

Mueller has already indicted 13 Russians and three companies accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, and on Thursday, the Trump administration included them in sanctions it levelled at Moscow as punishment for interference in the campaign and "malicious cyberattacks".

The Trump Organization has typically complied with requests from congressional investigators for documents for their own inquiries into Russian election interference and there was no indication the company planned to fight Mueller's order.

Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump Organization, said in a statement that Thursday's report are "old news and our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, reiterated during her daily briefing that the president was cooperating with the special counsel inquiry and referred further questions to the Trump Organization.

News of the subpoena broke shortly after the Trump administration announced a new raft of sanctions on Moscow, including Russian nationals previously indicted in the special counsel probe, reports CNN.

His former campaign chairman Paul Manafort faces more than 300 years in prison if he's convicted of charges stemming from Mueller's investigation that are unrelated to alleged Russian meddling in the election.

Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee moved earlier this week to close their investigation, saying they found no "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as denying that Russian efforts to interfere in the election were done to bolster Trump, a central tenet of the US intelligence community's conclusion about the meddling.

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