Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE is investigating millions of dollars paid between two organizers of the Trump Tower meeting that involved Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDemocrats introduce bill to block taxpayer-funded spending at Trump properties Trump dismisses NYT explanation on Kavanaugh correction The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE, top Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy MORE.

BuzzFeed News reports that Mueller's team is examining $3.3 million in payments between Aras Agalarov — a real estate developer and Russian billionaire with close ties to both President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Agalarov's longtime employee, Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kaveladze, who was also involved in planning the June 2016 meeting that Trump associates say resulted in no cooperation between Moscow and the Trump campaign, has been investigated in the past for money laundering, according to BuzzFeed News.

Officials at three separate banks raised concerns about the legality of the transactions, according to BuzzFeed, though the documents obtained by the news site do not show that the money was linked to the Trump Tower meeting.

The money began moving on June 3, the same day that Trump Jr., Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump officials mull plan to divert billions more to border wall: report California trip shows Trump doesn't always hate the media Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy MORE and Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortUkraine could badly damage both Donald Trump and the Democrats Lewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump MORE met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in Manhattan, according to the documents.

Four federal law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed that Mueller's office is investigating the transactions, though the special counsel's office declined to comment to BuzzFeed.

Scott Balber, an attorney for the two Russian men named in the documents, dismissed insinuations that the money was used for purposes related to the meeting.

“This looks like complete nonsense," Balber said. "It’s obvious the events of June 2016 have been a focal point of the special counsel’s investigation, various congressional inquiries, tremendous media attention and the like. We are in the lens of that reality, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s been some flyspecking, some gross overreporting by a number of financial institutions."

Manafort, who at the time was Trump's campaign chairman, struck a plea deal with Mueller's team earlier this month, allowing him to avoid a second criminal trial on the heels of one in August where a jury convicted him on eight counts of bank and tax fraud.

The deal signed by Manafort includes a "cooperation agreement" with the special counsel's office, according to court filings. Manafort and other current and former Trump officials have long denied any collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.