Special counsel Robert Mueller is probing a $150,000 payment to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, made by a Ukranian billionaire in September 2015 in exchange for a 20-minute video appearance by Trump.
Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen—whose office and residence were raided on Monday—“solicited the payment,” the New York Times reports.
Marcus Owens, the former head of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, called the payment “curious,” noting “it comes during a campaign and is from a foreigner and looks like an effort to buy influence.”
Earlier this year, Mueller subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents relating to the donation, made by Ukranian steel magnate Victor Pinchuk. Mueller also solicited “an array of records about business with foreign nationals” from the president’s eponymous organization.
According to the Times, the line of inquiry is part of a broader look at foreign money flowing through Trump and his associates.
The news comes after Trump on Monday dismissed Mueller’s investigation as “disgraceful,” a “witch hunt” and “an attack on our country.”