It was just yesterday that the New York Times asked President Trump, in an exclusive interview, whether it would be a ‘red line’ should special counsel Robert Mueller begin investigating his or his family’s finances. Trump’s response was, “I would say yeah, I would say yes.” This signaled that the President would likely considering having Mueller fired should his investigation stray too far outside his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
Here we are, less than 24 hours after that interview was first published by the Times, and Bloomberg has broken a story that Robert Mueller and his team are now investigating “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.”
According to Bloomberg, Mueller’s investigation has expanded rapidly in multiple directions, also including a probe into money laundering, which has been expanded from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s own investigation out of Manhattan prior to Trump firing him back in March of this year. Mueller has basically consolidated the Bharara probe into his own investigation as he continues to hire prosecutors and investigators to take on the additional work load.
According to sources, investigators are also very interested in specific dealings of the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, served as vice chairman. This is in addition to a probe into Jared Kushner’s efforts to try and secure large amounts of financing for his family’s real estate business.
It will be interesting to see if in fact this is the last straw for the President, or if he will continue to allow Mueller to expand his investigation. While Trump himself can not directly fire Mueller, he can ask his Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein to do just that. Whether or not Rosenstein will agree to take such action is yet to be seen.