At Trump Tower, Michael Cohen and Oligarch Discussed Russian Relations

26 May, 2018, 17:08 | Author: Wade Massey

During a discussion in Cohen's office, located on the skyscraper's 26th floor eleven days before the inauguration, Cohen and Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg talked about improving relations between Moscow and Washington and arranged to meet again at the inauguration, the New York Times first reported.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents working with special counsel Robert Mueller have questioned Vekselberg about the Columbus Nova payments to Cohen, as well as more than $300,000 in donations from Intrater to Trump's inauguration and the Republican National Committee, sources told the network.

A firm connected to the oligarch, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, later paid Cohen $500,000 for consulting work.

As CNN reports, "a person familiar with the meeting" says it was brief and claims "Vekselberg was not originally expected to attend". Intrater also said that the meeting took place as Cohen was packing up and leaving his job at the Trump Organization.

Both men have been questioned by Mueller's team. The Times reported a couple of days ago that Vekselberg met with Cohen "multiple times". The second time was during Trump's inauguration, which was attended by at least six Putin-allied Russians, including Vekselberg. They also made arrangements to link up at the president's inauguration.

"Obviously, if I'd known in January 2017 that I was about to hire this high-profile guy who'd wind up in this big mess, I wouldn't have introduced him to my biggest client, and wouldn't have hired him at all", Intrater said, stressing that he has done nothing wrong.

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Vekselberg, the chairman of Renova Group, has been sanctioned by the Trump administration and was questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators at a New York-area airport earlier this year, the New York Times previously reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York City, U.S., May 11, 2018.

Since the payments have become public, Columbus Nova has attempted to distance itself from Vekselberg, denying Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit to pay Cohen.

But the newly discovered video indicates that Vekselberg and Intrater were meeting with Cohen before that, and they were just steps away from the President-elect during the transition.

Cohen's private office was raided in April by federal agents and several of his business records were seized.

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