- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly expanding his probe to the business dealings of a key Trump family member unrelated to Russia, a move that President Trump has said would cross a “red line.”

Citing “people familiar with the inquiry,” CNN reported Monday afternoon that Mr. Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, on issues beyond his contacts with Russians and their purported meddling in the 2016 presidential race.

It “now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition,” CNN wrote.

According to the network, “this is the first indication that Mueller is exploring Kushner’s discussions with potential non-Russian foreign investors, including in China.”

Citing “people familiar with the special counsel investigation,” CNN reported that the Mueller team has been “asking questions, including during interviews in January and February, about Kushner’s conversations during the transition to shore up financing for 666 Fifth Avenue, a Kushner Companies-backed New York City office building reeling from financial troubles.”

Before he joined the administration, Mr. Kushner divested from that property and others, which were sold to a family trust from which he does not benefit, CNN reported.

According to the network “It’s not clear what’s behind Mueller’s specific interest in the financing discussions.”

In an interview with The New York Times last July, Mr. Trump was asked by reporter Michael S. Schmidt that if “Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?” and by reporter Maggie Haberman “Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?”

Mr. Trump replied, “I would say yeah. I would say yes.” He then parried a question on whether crossing that red line would cause him to fire Mr. Mueller: “I can’t answer that question because I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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