Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now getting vital information about Trump campaign officials from the IRS. There had been contention over this in the summer because of the far-reaching and broad requests from Mueller’s team. The special counsel’s team is reaching back 11 years in reference to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign adviser. They are looking into possible tax and financial crimes, according to search warrant documents.
Mueller is standing on the written order that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued in May which allows the special counsel to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
Since being at odds over the summer, the IRS Criminal Investigation division is now sharing information about Manafort and former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. CNN has revealed that the IRS Criminal Investigation agents had been working with the FBI to investigate Manafort since before the election in an investigation that centered on possible money laundering and tax fraud issues. CNN has also reported that Mueller’s team is examining Flynn’s payments from Turkey and Russia.
This new sharing between the IRS and the special counsel is raising, even more, questions about the controversial issue of President Donald Trump’s tax returns. He has refused to release them since before the election even though there are decades of precedent by other presidential candidates. It has not been reported whether Mueller has asked for or obtained Trump’s tax returns.
It was recently revealed that the IRS did not participate in the special counsel’s raid on Manafort’s Virginia home this summer. Their reason was that they thought it would interfere with a previous investigation the IRS was conducting with Manafort.
Manafort has denied any wrongdoing regarding his taxes or real estate transactions over the years, but Mueller’s team has warned that Manafort is most likely going to be charged with possible tax and financial crimes.
Flynn’s lawyers have previously criticized media reports about his connection to the Russia investigation as promoting “unfounded allegations” and “outrageous claims.” The IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the special counsel’s office declined to comment.
Do you think this new collusion between Mueller and the IRS is a major shift in the Russian probe?