The FBI has launched an investigation into Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein amid mounting allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
The decision came at the behest of the Department of Justice, the Daily Mail reported. It is unknown at this time if the order came from President Donald Trump or Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The investigation was launched shortly after rumors began circulating that Weinstein was planning to fly to Europe for sex rehab. This reportedly lead to fears that the movie executive would dodge prosecution in the United States.
But Weinstein decided at the last minute to instead travel to Arizona for treatment at The Meadows center. Either way, the FBI can investigate whether any crimes were committed by Weinstein in the U.S. and prepare extradition proceedings if he remains in Europe.
One of the allegations against Weinstein is that he forced Lucia Evans, a student who wanted to be an actress, to perform oral sex on him in 2004 in New York.
The New York Police Department confirmed on Oct.11 that they have launched an investigation. The Special Victims Division was ordered “to endeavor to identify and locate and interview any potential victims,” a police source told the New York Post.
“He’s a super predator. His conduct shows he’s been at this a long time, and he’s a professional at it,” another police official said of Weinstein. “He’s been at this so long, there’s no way there are not other victims out there. Imagine how many promises he’s made to these young women who were trying to make it into the industry.”
Weinstein has traveled the world promoting his films. So far, five accusers have provided accounts of attacks in France, and a few others in London, as well. These allegations could lead to charges there, as the FBI has field offices in both countries, according to the Daily Mail.
An FBI spokesperson in New York kept the matter under wraps when questioned.
"We do not confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations," the spokesperson said.
While it is still unknown if Trump gave the order to investigate Weinstein, he said the allegations against the hollywood producer weren't startling.
“I've known Harvey Weinstein for a long time," Trump told a reporter on Oct. 7, according to CNS News. "I'm not all surprised to see it.”
Weinstein has been a longtime contributor to the Democratic Party. Several senators have either returned his donations or given them to charities.