Russia special counsel Robert Mueller questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who had a role in overseas deals with President Donald Trump’s New York-based company in recent years.
McClatchy cited “persons familiar with the proceedings” in its report Thursday, saying Mueller’s investigators “showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate.”
The person “was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad,” McClatchy disclosed, though the report did not specifically name the associate.
The investigators were “armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony,” when they descended on the associate’s home.
President Trump has repeatedly slammed the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt” and has denied having any dealings with Russia or that his campaign had colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election.
According to McClatchy, investigators were concerned about dealings involving Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee.
Cohen was involved in business deals the Trump Organization secured or sought in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
However, it was “unclear how many properties or deals the Mueller team might be looking at,” the report noted.
The Trump Organization’s vast interests include properties spanning from Panama, Brazil, and Uruguay to Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Trump’s children — Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric — “were parties to talks involving many of the dealings,” according to the report.
“Generally, the discussions revolved around licensing fees for use of the Trump name,” McClatchy disclosed.
Cohen left the company in January 2017 — and neither he nor Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten responded to requests seeking comment.
During the campaign, news reports disclosed Cohen pursued a hotel deal for Trump in the Moscow area — and his partner was Felix Sater, a Russian émigré and former Trump Organization associate.
Sater’s role became public last year just as Trump insisted he had no business interests in Russia, McClatchy reported.
Cohen and Sater have said they teamed with a Russian group, I.C. Expert Consulting, and Cohen last year told congressional investigators last year why the deal was not completed.
Sater is working with the Mueller probe and provided more than six hours of closed-door testimony on Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, McClatchy reported.
The panel is focused heavily on the deals involving Cohen, according to “multiple people with knowledge of the hearing.”
Sater also testified in a classified session before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017.