Four weeks ago, BuzzFeed reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and U.S. prosecutors had taken an interest in the financial transactions made by Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov right around the time Donald Trump Jr was meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower. This was a big deal, because Agalarov and his son are accused of having helped set up Junior’s meeting. Now a major Russian news outlet is reporting that Agalarov is hitting the panic button.
Russian news publication rbc.ru has posted a Russian-language article tonight, and when it’s run through Google Translate, it reveals some fascinating details. In apparent response to learning that Robert Mueller was interested in his U.S. finances in relation to the Trump Tower meeting, Aras Agalarov supposedly closed his U.S. bank accounts. This wouldn’t prevent Mueller from being able to get ahold of his financial records or track any relevant transactions; the only reason to close the accounts would be to try to prevent Mueller from seizing the money.
To be clear, Agalarov is a billionaire with assets worldwide, so even if Mueller did seize his funds held in U.S. bank accounts, it probably wouldn’t impact him financially. But if this Russian media report is true (take all due grains of salt accordingly), it would mean that Agalarov is afraid that Robert Mueller is indeed moving in on him. Notably, this comes just eleven days after reports surfaced that Mueller had seized the U.S. assets of Oleg Deripaska, another Russian oligarch with ties to the Trump Russia scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report