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U.S. Lawmakers Demand Files From Dozens of Тrump-Linked Associates


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a Conservative Political Action Conference meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on March 2.

U.S. lawmakers have demanded records, files, and correspondence from dozens of individuals directly and indirectly connected to President Donald Trump, as part of a sweeping investigation into White House ties with Russia.

Among those sent letters by the Democratic-controlled Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives were Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, Georgian-American businessman Irakly Kaveladze, and companies linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the St. Petersburg businessman known for close ties to the Kremlin.

In announcing the letters on March 4, Representative Jerrold Nadler, the committee chairman who is spearheading the probe, asserted it was part of Congress's obligation to "provide a check on abuses of power" by the White House.

In all, 81 individuals and entities were targeted.

The White House said that it had received a letter.

"The counsel's office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The committee said for now it was requesting the records be turned over voluntarily, but would resort to subpoenas if it didn't get what it had requested.

Asked whether he would cooperate with the probe, Trump said: "I cooperate all the time with everybody."

Others targeted in the Judiciary Committee letter were Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, Vekselberg's American cousin Andrew Intrater, and Felix Sater, a Soviet-born real-estate developer who has partnered with Trump in the past.

The move comes as Democrats, who took control of the House in November elections, have started moving more aggressively to investigate a range of political and legal matters surrounding Trump and his 2016 election campaign.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, meanwhile, is expected to deliver a potentially explosive report to the attorney general regarding his nearly two-year probe into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and interactions between Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials.

Like the House Democrats, Mueller has also been exploring whether Trump sought to obstruct his investigation or others that have arisen from it.

Trump has rejected any charges of collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and the Kremlin denies meddling in the U.S. election.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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