Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for the first time as part of the probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, two people briefed on the matter told the New York Times on Thursday.
The subpoena, issued in recent weeks, requests documents, some of which are related to Russia. The entire scope of the subpoena isn't clear.
This is the first time Mueller has asked for documents specifically related to President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Russia. Trump warned in July that Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he investigated his family finances unrelated to Russia. The subpoena appears to be be inching close to that line.
“Since July 2017, we have advised the public that the Trump Organization is fully cooperative with all investigations, including the Special Counsel, and is responding to their requests," Alan S. Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told VICE News in a statement. "This is old news, and our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today." The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The president has repeatedly denied allegations of collusion with Russians ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide, told MSNBC earlier in February that investigators “may” have something on the president. Nunberg said investigators asked him whether he had ever heard people speaking Russian in the Trump office and about Trump Tower in Moscow.
Trump stepped down from the Trump Organization shortly before he became president. The Organization is now run by his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury also sanctioned several Russian groups and individuals on Thursday, including the Kremlin’s infamous “Troll Factory” and the man who allegedly ran it, known as “Putin’s chef.” Despite coming a month-and-a-half after a congressional deadline to impose new sanctions on Russia, it’s the most significant action against the Kremlin since the president took office.
Cover image: President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)