US prosecutors investigated suspected links between Trump and Egypt

US prosecutors investigated suspected links between Trump campaign and Egypt
2 min read
15 October, 2020
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team investigated suspected ties between Egypt and a last-minute campaign finance injection by Trump, a new report reveals.
Trump has reportedly deemed Sisi his 'favourite dictator' [Getty]
US federal prosecutors investigated suspected links between an Egyptian state-owned bank and the Trump presidential campaign.

Prosecutors spent three years attempting to determine whether money passing through the bank could have been linked to millions of dollars President Donald Trump donated to his own campaign days before the 2016 election, sources with knowledge of the probe told CNN.

The investigation ultimately could not determine a link between the funds and was closed earlier this year, but sources said there was sufficient information to keep the probe open well past the closure of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The probe has not been previously reported and was kept a tightly guarded secret by prosecutors who at one point locked down the entire floor of a Washington courthouse for closed-door proceedings to gain access to the Egyptian bank's records.

The investigation into whether Trump received an illegal foreign campaign contribution even reached the Supreme Court, where justices declined to hear the case.

A team tasked by Mueller to investigate intelligence claims of links between the Egyptian bank and a last-minute $10 million injection into the Trump campaign probed witnesses over a meeting between the then-presidential candidate and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Sisi and Trump met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly during the last weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. The two reportedly hit it off, and have since maintained a warm relationship, with the US president reportedly referring to Sisi as his "favourite dictator".

Former campaign adviser and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon discussed his role in coordinating the meeting, sources said of an interview conducted by the special counsel's office.

Mueller's team also investigated suspected links between Trump's foreign policy adviser Walid Phares and Egypt.

Those suspected ties were previously reported by The New York Times in June.

Both the special counsel's office and the FBI probed whether Phares had colluded with the Egyptian government to influence Trump and his team in the months before he took office.

Investigators ultimately did not lodge charges against Phares.

The Trump campaign has denied receiving illicit contributions.

"President Trump has never received a penny from Egypt," Jason Miller, a senior advisor to the president's 2020 election campaign, told CNN.

A spokesperson for President Sisi did not respond to a request for comment lodged by the broadcaster.

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