the investigation continues
August 12, 2019

FBI and Customs and Border Protection agents were spotted on Monday at accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein's house in the U.S. Virgin Islands, ABC News reports, and people with knowledge of the matter say they're looking for evidence of Epstein's inner circle.

Investigators were focusing on finding documents, videos, photographs, and computers at the home, which is on a private, 70-acre island. Epstein, 66, was found dead Saturday morning inside his Manhattan jail cell, of an apparent suicide. Last month, he was discovered semiconscious with bruises around his neck, and was placed on suicide watch, but people familiar with the matter told ABC News he was taken off about a week later at the urging of his defense lawyers.

Epstein was detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and was supposed to be checked on by guards every 30 minutes. One of the people on duty at the time of Epstein's death was not a full-fledged correctional officer, prison and law enforcement officials told The New York Times, and neither one had checked on him for several hours before he was found. It is unclear what position the one employee usually worked. Union officials have long complained that there is a staffing shortage at the facility, due to a federal hiring freeze. Catherine Garcia

August 3, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is delving into President Trump's finances in connection with his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, CNN reports. Individuals familiar with Mueller's probe told CNN that investigators have "seized on Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward."

Mueller is tasked with investigating whether Trump or his campaign associates colluded with Russia in its attempts to interfere with the election. Mueller's team apparently believes the money trail "could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion." His investigation — which absorbed one already underway by federal prosecutors involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — is wide-ranging, and "even investigative leads that have nothing to do with Russia but involve Trump associates are being referred to the special counsel," CNN reports.

In addition to Flynn, investigators have encountered communications that appear to show Russian operatives discussing Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in connection with efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton in last year's race.

The financial probing has involved Trump Organization records, as well as those of Trump and his family members personally; individuals connected to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which Trump held in Moscow; and tenants and buyers of Trump-branded real estate properties. It's not clear whether tax returns are being reviewed.

Jay Sekulow, the president's attorney, told CNN that the president's outside counsel "has not received any requests for documentation or information" about the increased financial scrutiny. "Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment, we would object to." Trump told The New York Times last month that he would consider any probing of his finances by Mueller a "violation."

Earlier Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller had impaneled a grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with the Russia probe, while Reuters reported that grand jury subpoenas had been issued regarding Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer, which the president's son has said he accepted because he was promised damaging information on Clinton. Kimberly Alters

May 30, 2017

President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is now facing scrutiny in the ongoing investigation into the Trump team's ties to Russia, ABC News reports. Cohen was asked to "provide information and testimony" about any contact he has had with people connected to the Russian government, but he declined "as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad, and not capable of being answered," Cohen said.

That prompted the Senate Intelligence Committee to unanimously vote to allow chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) to issue subpoenas as they see fit. Trump's ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who is at the heart of the investigations, earlier refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee. Other people of interest in the investigation, including Trump's informal adviser Roger Stone and his former foreign policy adviser Carter Page, are cooperating with the committee.

Cohen was identified by name in an unverified dossier prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele, which alleged he had worked with Russia to hack the Democratic Party during the campaign. Cohen has called the allegations "laughably false," and several details have been debunked by ABC News. Read the full report at ABC News here. Jeva Lange

May 23, 2017

Senate Intelligence Committee leaders are responding to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's refusal to hand over documents related to its Russia investigation by issuing subpoenas to two of his businesses.

Rather than comply with an earlier subpoena from the committee in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, Flynn on Monday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. "While we disagree with Gen. Flynn's lawyers' interpretation of taking the Fifth ... it's even more clear that a business does not have a right to take the Fifth," Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the panel's vice chairman, told reporters Tuesday.

Flynn, a foreign policy adviser to Trump during the campaign, was only national security adviser for a short amount of time, forced to resign just weeks after the inauguration when it came to light that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Catherine Garcia

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