By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to interview Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian pop star and former son-in-law of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, a lawyer for Agalarov says.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.
NBC News quoted attorney Scott Balber on August 2 as saying that Mueller had requested an interview with Agalarov.
Balber did not elaborate on whether Mueller is also interested in speaking to the singer’s father, Aras Agalarov, a tycoon with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Agalarovs were partners with Trump in staging the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013. They also played a key role in arranging a June 2016 meeting attended by Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law and now senior adviser Jared Kushner; Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman at the time; Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya; and others, according to congressional testimony.
The meeting at Trump Tower in New York City was set up after a Russian intermediary told Trump’s son that a Russian official had offered to provide documents and information that would “incriminate” Trump’s election rival, Hillary Clinton.
Veselnitskaya has denied acting on behalf of the Kremlin when she met with the Trump team, telling Congress that she operates “independently of any government bodies.”
Agalarov, the singer, confirmed that he helped to organize the meeting but has denied that any information incriminating anyone was discussed.
Mueller has no authority to subpoena the Agalarovs, who do not live in the United States.