Special Counsel Robert Mueller is widening the scope of his investigation once more. Rather than looking into alleged conspiracy or collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, Mueller is now reportedly looking into inauguration contributions – money given to Trump as he was to be sworn in to be President.
As ABC News reports, Mueller’s investigative team is looking into donations to the inauguration committee, and is questioning donors on potential connections with Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Mueller’s investigation is a disgrace. He’s not investigating crimes he’s investigating Trump. This is a witch hunt, and has always been a witch hunt. https://t.co/FrUdAcATVY
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 12, 2018
I can’t understand how he’s getting away with wasting tax payers money on this witch hunt.
— Debbie (@Debbiekranidis) May 12, 2018
Those interviewed included longtime Trump friend and confidant Thomas Barrack, who oversaw the fundraising effort, as well as individuals familiar with the massive inaugural fund, according to sources with direct knowledge.
Barrack, a real estate investor, has long been described as a Trump “whisperer” whose close friendship with the president landed him a prime appearance during the GOP convention the night Trump accepted his party’s nomination.
The billionaire runs a fund with hundreds of millions in real estate and private equity holdings in the Middle East. Barrack oversaw the largest inaugural fundraising effort in U.S. history, bringing in $107 million – more than double what President Barack Obama raised for his first swearing-in festivities.
According to a source who has sat with the Mueller team for interviews in recent weeks, the special counsel is examining donors who have either business or personal connections in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $1 million dollars, according to public records.
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At least two Americans have also been asked about donations they made to the committee, including businessmen Leonard Blavatnik and Andrew Intrater. According to the report, neither has been charged with a crime.
Then Mueller needs to investigate Clinton Foundation and @HillaryClinton campaign donations.
— Coco (@NancyLChapman) May 12, 2018
Inspector Clueso knows no bounds and still finds nothing. Joke. End it. pic.twitter.com/q1pG8EScMd
— Eric (@eanderson1966) May 12, 2018
Here’s more on the two men:
Blavatnik is a billionaire with dual U.S. and British citizenship who has extensive business ties in Russia. Blavatnik gave $1 million to the inaugural fund through his company, Access Industries, according to FEC records. Companies are prohibited from giving donations to political candidates, however, donations to inaugural committees are not considered donations to candidates.
Intrater, an American relative and business associate of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, runs a U.S. company with deep ties to Vekselberg’s Russia-based global conglomerate, Renova Group. Renova was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Intrater serves as the CEO of Columbus Nova, an investment company based in New York. FEC records show Intrater made a $250,000 donation to the Trump inauguration committee in early January 2017.
Following the donation, he and Vekselberg attended Trump’s inauguration, according to published reports. Also in 2017, Intrater gave another $35,000 to Trump Victory, the joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and Republican party. Of that, $29,600 went to the Republican National Committee.
Still wandering in the Desert.
— Pete Spurgeon (@PeteSpurgeon6) May 12, 2018
As Conservative Review reports, radio host and conservative commentator Mark Levin said, despite any conclusion reached by Mueller, Congress is the only constitutional authority which is able to remove the president from his post:
Friday on his radio program, LevinTV host Mark Levin reminded his audience that a U.S. president cannot be removed except by a two-thirds vote in the Senate, despite what special counsel Robert Mueller and the Democratic Party believe.
The proof is in the Constitution.
“[The framers] wanted a mechanism to remove a president if necessary, but not to have a president threatened day in and day out with impeachment, which is what’s happening today,” Levin explained.
“But it’s much more pernicious today because we have a prosecutor who I think believes he has the power to remove a president, and we have a Democrat Party with that belief, too.”