Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating million-dollar payments involving organizers of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., top Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
BuzzFeed News reports that Mueller’s team of investigations is probing $3.3 million in payments between Aras Agalarov, a real estate developer and Russian billionaire with close ties to both President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Agalarov’s longtime employee, Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze.
Kaveladze, who was also involved in planning the Trump Tower meeting, has been investigated in the past for money laundering, according to BuzzFeed News.
The Hill reports:
Officials at three separate banks raised concerns about the legality of the transactions, according to BuzzFeed, though the documents obtained by the news site do not show that the money was linked to the Trump Tower meeting.
The money began moving on June 3, the same day that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in Manhattan, according to the documents. Four federal law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed that Mueller’s office is investigating the transactions, though the special counsel’s office declined to comment to BuzzFeed.
“This looks like complete nonsense,” said Scott Balber, an attorney for the two Russian men named in the documents. “It’s obvious the events of June 2016 have been a focal point of the special counsel’s investigation, various congressional inquiries, tremendous media attention and the like. We are in the lens of that reality, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s been some flyspecking, some gross overreporting by a number of financial institutions.”