An attorney representing President Trump in the ongoing investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia said in an interview published Saturday that his team would challenge special counsel Robert Mueller if the probe began looking at Trump’s former business deals.
Politico reported Saturday that Jay Sekulow, a conservative attorney who joined Trump’s team in June, said that Trump’s attorneys are ready to challenge the legality of Mueller’s actions if he detours into anything they consider “outside the scope” of the inquiry, such as looking at old real estate deals the president might have been involved in through his Trump Organization.
“We’d view that as outside the scope of legitimate inquiry,” Sekulow said. “We’d raise it.”
Trump himself has said that any investigation of his personal finances by Mueller would be out-of-bounds.
In July, Trump told The New York Times that Mueller would be in “violation” of his special counsel mandate to shift his probe’s focus from Russia.
“No, I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia. So I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably successful company,” Trump said.
Mueller’s investigation entered a new stage this week with the handing down of indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Richard Gates.
Manafort is charged with money laundering and tax fraud.
Prosecutors accused Manafort in court documents unsealed Monday of “together with others, knowingly and intentionally conspir[ing] to defraud the United States by impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful governmental functions of a government agency, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury.”
The special counsel probe has the authority to investigate any potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow, as well as any auxiliary matters arising from the Russia probe.
SOURCE: JOHN BOWDEN