Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken the unusual step of questioning Russian oligarchs who traveled into the US, stopping at least one and searching his electronic devices when his private jet landed at a New York area airport, according to multiple sources familiar with the inquiry.
A second Russian oligarch was stopped during a recent trip to the US, although it is not clear if he was searched, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Mueller's team has also made an informal voluntary document and interview request to a third Russian oligarch who has not traveled to the US recently.
The situations have one thing in common: Investigators are asking whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into Donald Trump's presidential campaign and inauguration. [...]
Another theory Mueller's office is pursuing, sources said, is whether wealthy Russians used straw donors -- Americans with citizenship -- as a vessel through which they could pump money into the campaign and inauguration fund. [...]
Another source added that Mueller's investigators have asked about a handful of American citizens who were born in former Soviet states and maintain ties with those countries. This person said the inquiry appeared focused on Republican fundraising and how money flows into US politics. ABC News reported in September that Mueller's team has asked questions about the timing of contributions from US citizens with ties to Russia, citing a Republican campaign aide interviewed by Mueller's team.
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