The team charged with investigating whether there was any collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia now appears to be leaking details of the probe to damage him.
“A person familiar with the probe” told Bloomberg that the special counsel is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump and his associates’ businesses.
The leak comes the day after Trump told the New York Times in an interview that delving into his business matters would be outside the bounds of the Russia investigation.
“The Special Counsel’s Office has undertaken stringent controls to prohibit unauthorized disclosures that deal severely with any member who engages in this conduct,” Joshua Stueve, spokesman for the Special Counsel’s Office told Breitbart News in an email response.
The team is led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, and four of the six attorneys on the team donated to the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to Axios.
James Quarles donated almost $33,000 to Democrats, including Clinton and former President Barack Obama. Jeannie Rhee donated more than $16,000 since 2008 to Democrats, including the maximum donation possible to Clinton in both 2015 and 2016. She has also donated to Obama. Andrew Weissmann donated more than $4,000 to Obama in 2008 and $2,000 to the DNC in 2006, and Elizabeth Prelogar donated $250 each to Clinton in 2016 and Obama in 2012.
Trump and Republican lawmakers have questioned the impartiality of Mueller and the probe, which was created after former FBI Director James Comey leaked a memo to the media for the purpose of prompting a special counsel.
Specifically, the person told Bloomberg that investigators are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, and Trump’s involvement in a “controversial SoHo development” with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008.
The probe is also reportedly extending to other members of the administration, such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where he served as chairman.
It is also examining Jared Kushner’s efforts to secure financing for some of his family’s real estate properties.
“The information was provided by someone familiar with the developing inquiry but not authorized to speak publicly,” the report said.
The “roots” of the new line of inquiry lie in a “wide-ranging money laundering probe” that was launched by former prosecutor Preet Bharara, a friend of Comey who was fired by Trump in March before the probe could finish.
That probe, launched last year during the presidential election, involved gathering information on Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to “two people with knowledge of that probe.” That probe is now consolidated into the special counsel’s probe.
John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Bloomberg he was unaware of this element of the investigation.
“Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged confusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” he said in an email to the outlet.