Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr.’s role in seeking to build a Trump Tower skyscraper in Moscow three years before their father’s presidential campaign, according to Yahoo News.
An investigation published Thursday said that the president’s elder daughter, now-White House adviser, and his eldest son worked several years on the project which attempted to build Trump Tower Moscow.
The news of Ivanka and Don. Jr’s involvement in a possible Trump building in Russia deal was reported the same day that the president’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in court for lies he told Congress when he testified about Trump’s attempts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller’s charging documents against Cohen mentioned that Trump’s former fixer lied about having “briefed [Trump] family members” who worked at the Trump Organization about the possible Moscow project. Ivanka was an executive with the organization before she became a White House adviser and Trump’s son is still an executive there.
Trump’s children’s efforts to secure the Trump Tower deal were separate from Cohen’s, Yahoo News reported. Ivanka and Don Jr. reportedly knew about Cohen’s efforts in 2016.
“Michael was looking at that deal,” the source told Yahoo. “Don and Ivanka knew about it and Don testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was peripherally aware of it. “
“That’s why we’re so perplexed Cohen would lie about briefing them because no one’s ever disputed that they knew he was looking at it,” the source added.
Trump’s business relationships with Russians have been investigated by the special counsel’s probe into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. The president was involved in real estate deals for decades before launching a bid for president. During that time, he had contacts with Russian business people, but he said numerous times during the campaign that he had no business interests in Russia and had not done business with Russians.
The news that Mueller has asked questions about Ivanka and Don Jr.’s work on the Moscow real estate project is not a surprise, but the significance of it is not clear. It may simply be a way for the special counsel to corroborate information obtained from other sources. It also may indicate that the entire Trump family was involved with Russia for a very long time, and they had tried to keep this involvement a secret and had lied about it. If the truth had been disclosed during the 2016 presidential campaign it is possible that Donald Trump would never have been elected president.