In an effort to punish Russia for interfering with the 2016 U.S. election, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is cracking down on Russian businessmen.
According to a recent New York Times report, Mueller’s team questioned Russian billionaire Viktor F. Vekselberg, who was present at President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year.
Earlier this year, federal agents from Mueller’s team stopped Vekselberg at a New York-area airport, searched his electronic devices and questioned him. As per the findings of the team, Vekselberg also attended a dinner in December 2015 in Russia, where he was accompanied by Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The dinner was hosted by RT, the English-language television news network sponsored by the Kremlin.
Flynn resigned last year after it came to light that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his interaction with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Meanwhile, the Mueller team has found links between Trump aides and Vekselberg. Vekselberg has business in Cyprus, a destination considered a magnet for Russian money. The investigators found that Vekselberg was in charge of a company that has been the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus. Trump’s current commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross, was then its vice chairman.
Mueller’s team has also reportedly interviewed Tom Barrack, President Trump’s close friend. Barrack, who Trump has known for almost 30 years, was also the former inauguration committee chairman. According to Hill, Barrack met with the Mueller team.
Meanwhile, according to recent a report by Wall Street Journal, Special Counsel Mueller will have to put his inquiries on hold so it doesn’t appear like he is trying to sway the midterm election.
Earlier this week, President Trump said that he doesn’t mind being interviewed by Mueller. “I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump said. Insisting that he has played no part in the Russian interference, Trump said that he was willing to submit to questions from the Special Counsel.
“There’s been no collusion whatsoever. There’s no obstruction whatsoever,” he added.
President Trump is also involved in a scandal involving adult film star, Stormy Daniels.