Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition

Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition

Picture: APDonald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, met with a Russian oligarch and discussed US-Russia relations just 11 days before Trump was inaugurated as president.

Days after the January inauguration, Intrater's private equity firm, Columbus Nova, awarded Cohen a one-year $1 million consulting contract.

The company said it hired Cohen after the inauguration, but the newly discovered video shows that Vekselberg and Intrater were meeting with Cohen before Trump took office, CNN reported.

Intrater told the Times that Vekselberg had no role in the decision to hire Cohen.

"Russian relations would get better through business projects and cultural exchange".

Columbus Nova Andrew Intrater arranged the meeting between Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg and Trump attorney Michael Cohen. He's
Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition

About a week after the meeting, Cohen, Intrater and Vekselberg were together again at a dinner in Washington to celebrate Trump's inauguration. A $250,000 donation Intrater made to Mr. Trump's inaugural committee secured him tickets to an inaugural dinner, and Vekselberg attended the dinner with him.

Columbus Nova has sought to distance itself from Vekselberg and Renova Group since records of the payments to Cohen emerged earlier this month. He noted they did not see Trump, who was in the building that day, and it's unknown of the then-president-elect was aware it was happening.

He told the Times that had he "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". Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her defamation lawsuit against Cohen, alleged that Vekselberg's company paid Cohen about $500,000 after the inauguration. Mr. Intrater said the meeting included only a brief discussion about relations between the United States and Russian Federation.

Video footage from C-SPAN, which kept a camera feed in the lobby during the transition process, showed Vekselberg and Intrater arriving at Trump Tower on January 9, 2017. They then entered an elevator unaccompanied to head up to Cohen's office in the Trump Organization, according to the person familiar with the meeting.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting an extensive investigation into alleged contacts and dealings between Trump, his associates and Russian Federation, before and after the 2016 US presidential election.

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