Special Counsel Robert Mueller has crossed President Trump’s “red line” after issuing a subpoena for documents related to the Trump Organization’s business dealings with Russia.
New York Times reports:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, according to two people briefed on the matter. The order is the first known time that the special counsel demanded documents directly related to President Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.
The breadth of the subpoena was not clear, nor was it clear why Mr. Mueller issued it instead of simply asking for the documents from the company, an umbrella organization that oversees Mr. Trump’s business ventures. […]
The Trump Organization has said that it never had real estate holdings in Russia, but witnesses recently interviewed by Mr. Mueller have been asked about a possible real estate deal in Moscow. In 2015, a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump’s emailed Mr. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen at his Trump Organization account claiming he had ties to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and said that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would help Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
Recently, Mueller’s Russia probe took yet another unpredictable turn after the special counsel invoked the unusual “conspiracy to defraud the government,” charge that “could use the same legal strategy to go after President Trump and his associates, even if the conspiracy is not linked to a criminal act,” The Washington Times reports.
Emma Kohse, Harvard International Law Journal editor-in-chief, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Lawfare blog’s top editor, argue that, based in the language of the indictments and the legal precedents behind them, the “conspiracy to defraud the government” charge provides the Mueller team with significant flexibility in trying to build a case against Mr. Trump and members of his 2016 campaign. […]
“Russia’s sustained, many-front effort to interfere in the 2016 election — a glimpse of which was shown in the indictment — is undoubtedly more complex and far-reaching than the plots that have previously been prosecuted as conspiracies to defraud the United States,” Ms. Kohse and Mr. Wittes write. “But that makes Mueller’s theory richer, not more novel.”
President Trump’s lawyers are in the process of negotiating with special counsel Robert Mueller to bring the Russia probe to an end, reports Rebecca Ballhaus and Peter Nicholas of the Wall Street Journal.
In addition, CNN reported that investigators are attempting to determine whether former Blackwater chief Erik Prince misled the House Intelligence Committee about a meeting he had in Seychelles in January of 2017.
Prince is accused of using the meeting as an opportunity to establish a secret back channel with Russia.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge spoke with one of President Trump’s personal lawyers about the new subpoena request by Special Counsel Mueller.
According to Herridge, Trump’s lawyer was unaware of the subpoena and said it may be a ‘wrap up’ subpoena or ‘clean up’ subpoena which may signal the end of the investigation.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 15, 2018