Robert Mueller is now interviewing donors to President Trump’s campaign, looking for foreign donations, Russians in particular. The donations we know Mueller is looking at so far were legal and were made by American citizens. Some see this as an attempt to intimidate Trump’s donors so they don’t donate again.
Mueller’s investigators have questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in contributions from donors with links to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to ABC News.
One of the people interviewed is Thomas Barrack, a longtime Trump friend who handled financing for the president’s inaugural committee.
Barrack, a billionaire real estate investor, pulled in more than $100 million for the inauguration, ABC News reported.
Witnesses have been asked specifically about Andrew Intrater, the chairman of Columbus Nova, the company revealed on May 8 to have paid longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen nearly $500,000 in the months after Trump’s inauguration as he built his consulting business.
Intrater is the cousin of Viktor Vekselberg, the much-discussed and now sanctioned Russian billionaire. He is a U.S. citizen and the donations were legal.
Intrater contributed $250,000 to Trump’s swearing-in event, which both he and Vekselberg attended. He gave another $35,000 to his campaign and that was legal also.
Will Mueller Look Into Clinton’s Ties to Vekselberg?
Emails show Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bill Clinton and the powerful Russian oligarch Vekselberg as her agency lined up investors for a project under his purview.
The Clintons’ relationship with Viktor Vekselberg had taken on new significance amid an expanding criminal investigation into his company. In September, 2016, authorities raided the offices of Vekselberg’s firm, Renova Group, following allegations of bribery from several of Renova’s subsidiaries.
Vekselberg had been named head of a partnership dubbed the “Russian Silicon Valley” just three months before a Clinton Foundation employee began pushing the State Department to approve Bill Clinton’s proposed meeting with Vekselberg and a handful of other Russian executives.
Hillary pushed the Russian Silicon Valley project over the objections of Army and FBI intelligence.
The emails, obtained in September 2016 by right-leaning Citizens United shed light on one of many relationships that blurred the lines between the Clinton’s political, financial and philanthropic pursuits while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.
Vekselberg’s Renova Group donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show. Another firm associated with Vekselberg, OC Oerlikon, donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Mueller has been investigating this for a while
In mid-April, the Mueller investigation looked into a $150,000 donation from Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel magnate.
He made the payment to the Donald J. Trump Foundation in 2015 in exchange for a 20-minute appearance by Trump via video link at a conference in Kiev, according to reports.
The donation was made to the Yalta European Strategy conference, which promotes pro-European Union policies for Ukraine, NOT PRO-RUSSIA policies.
Unsurprisingly, Pinchuk is a long-time Clinton megadonor. The NY Times reports that he gave about $13 million to the Clinton Foundation between 2006 and 2016.