Why Rumors Are Swirling That Ivanka Is Swept Up In The Russia Investigation

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Special investigator Robert Mueller has been keeping his cards held tightly to his chest, so for the most part the public doesn't know exactly who he and his team are looking into for information about alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. However, a newly reported but unconfirmed conversation between Ivanka Trump and a Russian lawyer means that Robert Mueller could be investigating Ivanka for her involvement in the campaign.

Specifically, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday that Mueller's team was digging deeper into the information surrounding the July 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, in which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with several Russians. The three aforementioned men have already been confirmed as subjects of Mueller's investigation, but now it's possible that Ivanka has joined that group — one of the Russians in the meeting, Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, claims that she may have spoken to Ivanka after the meeting.

In Veselnitskaya's telling of the event in question, according to NBC News, she briefly spoke to a blonde woman when she was waiting for an elevator to leave Trump Tower. She told Mueller's team that she was not introduced to the woman, so she could not confirm whether it was indeed Ivanka or not.

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While Veselnitskaya didn't say that her conversation with the blonde woman contained anything of substance and was limited to an exchange of pleasantries, the meeting seems to be of enough interest to Mueller and his team that they want to investigate anyone who potentially played a role in it. When it was first reported that Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians at Trump Tower, he responded to the reports by saying that the meeting had been about the Russian adoption program.

However, this took a complicated turn when news broke that the meeting was not actually about adoption, and that President Trump had dictated the statement explaining the meeting to his son. News of the meeting became more and more explosive, then, when it was reported that Trump Jr. had been approached with a promise of "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and had then enthusiastically accepted the meeting with Veselnitskaya and other Russian representatives.

Trump Jr., in an attempt to be transparent, released his entire email string regarding the meeting and then claimed that his desire for "dirt" on Clinton stemmed from a quest to learn more about Clinton's "fitness" to carry out the duties of president.

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Because of the president's attempt to describe the meeting as something other than what it was, the meeting seems to have become a primary focus in a potential obstruction of justice investigation that Mueller and his team have been carrying out. The meeting is such a large focal point, so it makes sense that Mueller would want to chase down every lead giving information about which members of the Trump inner circle were involved with it. While Ivanka was not in the room at the meeting, Veselnitskaya's statements at least raise the possibility that she was somehow involved in the meeting's organization, or at least that she knew about it.

Mueller's team is reportedly in the middle of several different avenues of investigation, but an attempt to prove that Trump's mischaracterization of the meeting with Russians was, in fact, obstruction of justice, could be very dangerous for him. After all, obstruction of justice was the charge that brought about Richard Nixon's impeachment and eventual resignation.

If this is indeed the special prosecutor's goal, then he will attempt to prove that Trump deliberately lied about the meeting's goal with the full knowledge that what actually happened was problematic. This is a difficult thing to prove — so perhaps Mueller thinks that Ivanka could help him do just that.