Calling the move an "unusual step", CNN in an exclusive report notes one Russian oligarch had his electronic devices searched "when his private jet landed at a NY area airport, according to multiple sources familiar with the inquiry".
CNN also reported today the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has been questioning wealthy Russians as they enter and exit the country, in an attempt to find information on Russian money finding its way into the 2016 us president election.
Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, has subpoenaed financial records from Trump's businesses and from some of their creditors, like Deutsche Bank, presumably to look for links to Russian money. It was unclear if he had his devices scanned.
Mueller is investigating whether Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, funneled money from the Emirates to Trump's campaign, as well as his contacts with the president's advisers and ties to Russian Federation.
A third Russian, who has not traveled to the US recently, received an informal document and interview request from the special counsel's office, sources said.
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Trump has also denied any collusion between himself and the Kremlin and has called Mueller's investigation a witch hunt.
White House lawyer Ty Cobb also declined to comment, saying the president's legal team does not discuss conversations with the special counsel.
It also shows that Mueller's team hasn't shied away from using aggressive tactics. He's particularly interested in Russian investments in think tanks and political-action committees that donated to Trump's campaign, and in "straw donors", or American citizens who fielded Russian money to skirt campaign finance laws. Mueller is also probing whether Russians could have funneled money into the US political system by giving cash to citizens who then donated to the campaign.
Thirteen Russian nationals working for the Kremlin's so-called Internet Research Agency were indicted by Mueller earlier this year for meddling in the 2016 election in a deliberate attempt to boost Trump's campaign and disparage Hillary Clinton.