Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other federal prosecutors have been questioning witnesses about a number of Ukrainian lawmakers and business figures who attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration events and promoted “peace plans” that would ease sanctions against Russia, The New York Times reports. At least a dozen Ukrainian political and business figures reportedly attended the inaugural events and attended meetings with Republican lawmakers and allies of Trump—and some of them are thought to have been pitching plans to ease Russia sanctions. Prosecutors have reportedly asked witnesses about how the Ukrainians gained access to the events, who they met with, what they discussed at meetings, and “various peace plan proposals.”
Andrii Artemenko, who attended the inauguration events as a Ukrainian member of parliament, told the Times he was interviewed by Mueller and the FBI twice and testified before Mueller’s grand jury. After the inauguration, Artemenko reportedly met with Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and Trump’s ex-business partner Felix Sater to discuss a peace plan that would drop sanctions against Russia. Days later, the White House reportedly asked the State Department and Congress about what would be required to ease sanctions. News of prosecutors’ focus on Ukrainian lawmakers comes after Paul Manafort’s lawyers accidentally revealed that he communicated about a Russia-Ukrainian peace plan with Konstantin Kilimnik, who is thought to have ties to Russian intelligence.