It seems that barely a day passes without major developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign. Mueller’s investigation team has already indicted three members of President Trump’s campaign team. Former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, his business associate Rick Gates, and foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos have all been charged with offenses related to the Trump – Russia allegations. Papadopoulos has already entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge and is believed to be cooperating with Mueller’s team.
As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, both President Trump and his lawyers have reportedly warned the Mueller investigation to stay out of Trump’s personal finances, especially with regard to his property deals. As reported by Politico, President Trump, and his lawyers have warned Mueller to “stay away” from President Trump’s real estate deals. In fact, as long ago as July, President Trump told the New York Times that he would consider it “a violation” if Mueller’s investigators looked into his personal finances.
The reality is that the financial dealings of President Trump, and members of his campaign team, in Russia seem to form a key part of the Mueller investigation.
The charges laid against Manafort and Gates, by the Mueller investigation, relate almost entirely to their financial dealings in Russia and the Ukraine. Vanity Fair reports that the Mueller investigation is closely examining the infamous dossier released by former British spy Christopher Steele. Trump’s team has branded the Steele dossier as “dodgy” but, as reported by the Guardian, Steele stands by the dossier and claims it is up to 90 percent accurate.
Steele was a respected operative with the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and claims that his counterparts in the CIA and FBI reacted with “shock and horror” when he supplied them with copies of his intelligence reports. In short, it seems that Steele believes that the Mueller investigation will find evidence of Trump’s tie to Russia if they look into “the contracts for the hotel deals and land deals between Trump and individuals within the Kremlin.”
It is claimed that Trump was in financial trouble after a series of bankruptcies in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. With Western banks reluctant to lend money to Trump he was forced to rely on Russian money. This, it is alleged, put him in debt to the Russian’s and gave Russia leverage over him as he started his presidential campaign.
As Vanity Fair points out, Donald Trump Jr. has previously admitted that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” The implication is clear, if Donald Trump’s financial survival relied on Russian money, then Russia may have the means to influence the president’s thinking. If that were the situation then it would be in Russia’s interests to support Trump, rather than Hillary Clinton, in the race for the U.S. presidency.
Of course, President Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russia, but it is being widely reported today, that the Mueller investigation has issued subpoenas to more than a dozen of Trump’s associates relating to documents and emails that reference certain Russia-related keywords. Fox News described this as Mueller’s first official order for the Trump campaign to produce information.
It seems that one thing is clear, the Mueller investigation is far from done with its investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.
[Featured Image by Cliff Owen/AP Images]