POLITICS
04/09/2018 09:07 pm ET Updated Apr 10, 2018

Mueller Reportedly Investigating Ukraine Payment To Trump Foundation

The probe is part of a larger inquiry into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating a $150,000 donation made to President Donald Trump’s foundation by a Ukrainian steel magnate in September 2015.

The New York Times, citing three unnamed people with knowledge of the matter, reported on Monday that the inquiry pertained to a payment Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk made to the Donald J. Trump Foundation for a 20-minute video appearance by Trump to a conference in Kiev.

The White House didn’t immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.

The review of Pinchuk’s payment is part of Mueller’s larger probe into streams of foreign money Trump may have had access to in the years leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the Times reported.

Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen reportedly personally solicited the donation to the foundation.

Cohen’s New York offices and hotel room were raided by the FBI on Monday in an apparently unrelated probe.

Ukrainian funds were also at the center of the indictment of Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, when a federal grand jury brought forth charges against him for allegedly laundering millions of dollars in funds he accrued while working for former pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Mueller is also reportedly asking the Trump Organization to hand over documents and communications regarding several Russian individuals whose names were not revealed.

The Times first reported in March that Mueller had subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents as part of his investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The subpoena marked the first time Mueller directly ordered Trump’s business to produce documents during the nearly yearlong investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s Russia probe as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.” In response to Monday’s raid of Cohen’s office, the president expressed his dismay and floated the possibility of firing Mueller.

“Why don’t I just fire Mueller?” Trump asked in response to a reporter’s question during a military leadership meeting on Monday. “Well, I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens, but I think it’s really a sad situation ... Many people have said you should fire him. Again, they found nothing, and in finding nothing, that’s a big statement.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych and tycoon Viktor Pinchuk take part in a ceremony to open a new steel mill on Oc
Anatolii Stepanov / Reuters
Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych and tycoon Viktor Pinchuk take part in a ceremony to open a new steel mill on Oct. 4, 2012.
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