Robert Mueller and co are investigating a large $150,000 donation made to the Trump Foundation in 2015 by a pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch according to The New York Times. The donation was made after Trump conducted a video talk at a conference in Kiev, Ukraine.
This was at a time when Trump was one of many Republicans mulling over a 2016 presidential run, hoping for the nomination.
Doug Schoen, a policial consultant, works for Victor Pinchuk, the Ukrainian billionaire and steel magnate, who personally contacted Trump to set up the speech.
Keep in mind, this contribution is nothing compared to what Pinchuk has given to Bill and Hillary Clinton in the name of charity. In fact, since 2006, he has contributed nearly $13 million to the Clinton Foundation.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) April 8, 2018
As reported by Business Insider:
Trump accepted the request but reportedly did not broach the subject of any payment. However, his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is said to have called Schoen the next day to ask for a $150,000 fee from Pinchuk in exchange for the talk.
The revelation comes as Mueller investigates the flow of foreign money into the Trump campaign and Trump’s personal business. The special counsel is also examining whether administration officials used their influence within the White House to benefit their personal finances.
On Monday, investigators working for the US attorney’s office at the Southern District of New York raided Cohen’s offices in New York after obtaining a search warrant, and seized records on various topics, such as the $130,000 nondisclosure payment Cohen made the adult-film actress, Stormy Daniels, shortly before the 2016 US presidential election. Investigators also seized a computer, phone, personal financial records, and attorney-client communications.
Cohen is currently a subject of scrutiny in two criminal investigations, one of which is being overseen by the SDNY and the other by Mueller’s office.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Cohen is under investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Meanwhile, the special counsel’s heightened focus on Cohen comes after he subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents and records related to its foreign deals. According to The Times, the Trump Organization responded by handing over documents about Pinchuk’s donation, among others.