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Mueller Investigating Ukrainian’s $150,000 Payment For A Trump Appearance DURING The Campaign

Why did a Ukranian steel magnate pay Donald Trump $150,000 for a 2015 20-minute appearance during the campaign?
Mueller Investigating Ukrainian’s $150,000 Payment For A Trump Appearance DURING The Campaign
Image from: New York Times

Robert Mueller is investigating yet another potentially shady business deal that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen were involved in - this time it includes a Ukrainian steel magnate named Victor Pinchuk. Apparently, Pinchuk paid Donald Trump $150,000 in September 2015 (through the Donald J. Trump Foundation) for this 20-minute appearance via video link during a conference in Kiev.

The New York Times is reporting that Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer and designated "Fixer Guy" facilitated the contribution. This was the largest donation the foundation had ever received from anyone unrelated to Trump.

Information regarding the payment was found in documents handed over to the Special Counsel's office after they delivered a subpoena to the Trump Organization earlier this year. Mueller is clearly looking at any and all foreign payments into the campaign, not just Russia ones.

This payment is odd, in that it came right in the midst of the election, but was not paid to the campaign. Rather, Cohen appears to have had the money funneled to the campaign - possibly to get around laws related to foreign citizens making donations to American campaigns. A representative from the IRS called it "curious because it comes during a campaign and is from a foreigner and looks like an effort to buy influence...[and it is]an unusual amount of money for such a short speech.”

None of Trump's lawyers had any comment of explanation for this payment, although I am sure Sarah Huckabee Sanders will declare that "they have answered all questions, this was addressed before and she will get back to you with any more information when she gets it."

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