Michael Cohen Reportedly Met with Oligarch Days Before Inauguration to Talk About US-Russia Relations
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen reportedly met with a Russian oligarch days before President Trump‘s inauguration.
The New York Times is reporting that in January 2017, Cohen took a meeting with Viktor Vekselberg:
In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg. The men also arranged to see one another at the inauguration, the second of their three meetings, Mr. Intrater said.
Days after the inauguration, Mr. Intrater’s private equity firm, Columbus Nova, awarded Mr. Cohen a $1 million consulting contract, a deal that has drawn the attention of federal authorities investigating Mr. Cohen, according to people briefed on the inquiry.
That Columbus Nova contract, of course, was first revealed earlier this month, though Intrater denies that Vekselberg (who happens to be his cousin) played a role in the decision to hire Cohen.
CNN has confirmed the meeting too. Both CNN and the Times note there’s video showing Vekselberg was at Trump Tower that day.
As CNN reports, “a person familiar with the meeting” says it was brief and claims “Vekselberg was not originally expected to attend.”
[image via Drew Angerer / Getty Images]
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