The “roots” of the new line of inquiry lie in a “wide-ranging money laundering probe” that was launched by former prosecutor Preet Bharara, a friend of Comey who was fired by Trump in March before the probe could finish.
That probe, launched last year during the presidential election, involved gathering information on Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to “two people with knowledge of that probe.” That probe is now consolidated into the special counsel’s probe.
John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Bloomberg he was unaware of this element of the investigation.
“Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged confusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” he said in an email to the outlet.