Vladimir Putin government had renewed decades-old patents belonging to Donald Trump in Russia in 2016 including four on U.S. Election Day, further causing more suspicion about the President’s business ties with the Kremlin.
Trump, who still controls his business empire as President, sits in the White House, a move could leave him vulnerable to potentially impeachable conflicts of interests. Last week, nearly 200 Democrats in Congress filed a federal lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clause, an anti-bribery provision in the Constitution. It has been filed in the US district court for the District of Columbia.
Russia’s intellectual property agency Rospatent had granted 10-year extensions to six Trump trademarks between April and December.
Trump had insisted he had no business deals in Russia but special counsel Robert Mueller is probing into alleged meddling by Russia in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign.
Jay Sekulow,a representative from President Donald Trump’s legal team said,President was not under investigation for obstruction of justice.His campaign remains under several U.S. investigations for potential collusion with the Russian government.
The Russian government had renewed multiple patents connected with Trump hotels and other branded products of that were set to expire at the end of 2016, according to the New York Times.
Some of the trademarks date back as far as 1996, the Trump Organization still sought to extend them for another decade.
Trump has been claiming that he never seriously attempted to do business in Russia. “I have no deals in Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away,” he said in a January press conference days before his inauguration.
Trump Company has another two trademarks due for renewal next year. But there is a lack of evidence that Trump pushed for, or received, special treatment for the trademark office, which routinely renews deals with businesses worldwide.
Trump had hired the law firm Sojuzpatent to file at least eight trademarks in Russia between 1996 and 2008, including “Trump,” “Trump Home” and “Trump Tower.”
With President Trump instructions, Vice President Mike Pence has hired Richard Cullen, his own lawyer to represent U.S. President in the special counsel investigation and congressional inquiries into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
Richard Cullen, is a former Virginia attorney general and a former US attorney for the eastern district of Virginia.
Donald Trump criticized media reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating him for obstruction of justice as a part of a wider probe into alleged meddling by Russia in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign, saying Americans are watching “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.”
“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,”
Meanwhile,Robert Mueller has sought interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren’t involved in Trump’s campaign. Those officials are Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director, according to report.