Robert Mueller's probe is expanding to include Donald Trump's finances

Despite the president's warning, Mueller is expanding his probe to Trump's business transactions

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 20, 2017 11:46AM (EDT)

Robert Mueller   (Getty/Alex Wong)
Robert Mueller (Getty/Alex Wong)

President Donald Trump may have warned special counsel Robert Mueller against expanding his investigation, but it looks like Mueller isn't listening.

A person familiar with Mueller's probe into Trump told Bloomberg that Mueller is going to look into a number of transactions involving the businesses of both the president and some of his associates. Because Trump's business empire had many connections to Russia, it is likely that Mueller is expanding the scope of his probe for that reason.

The source also told Bloomberg that the specific business subjects of the probe include Russians who purchased apartments in Trump's residential properties, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant (which was held in Moscow), Trump's decision to sell a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch and his involvement in a SoHo development with Russian associates.

Mueller is apparently following in the footsteps of former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was involved in a money laundering probe. Although Bharara was fired by Trump in March, his probe has now been incorporated into Mueller's larger inquiry.

Mueller has been under attack by Trump's allies as his probe has gathered steam. For instance, although former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was initially supportive of Mueller's appointment, he soon changed his tune. Eventually he argued that "Comey’s testimony — and the situation he orchestrated around it — really show the depths to which the deep state will go — working around Congress, outside of even the federal process — to damage and undermine President Trump. And it perfectly illustrates how sick the system has become."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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