Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition

Elias Hubbard
May 26, 2018

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen met with notorious Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg in late 2016 to discuss U.S. -Russia relations during the presidential transition period after Donald Trump's surprise victory in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The New York Times reports that Cohen and Vekselberg met in Cohen's office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower to talk about ways to improve relations between the United States and Russian Federation.

Vekselberg heads the Renova Group, a Russian conglomerate, an Intrater runs Columbus Nova, a subsidiary of Renova.

Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg, pictured here at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, met with Trump attorney Michael Cohen in Trump Tower shortly before the January 2017 inauguration of President Trump. Intrater's company Columbus Nova signed a $1 million consulting contract with Cohen later in January.

Columbus Nova has denied that it was used by Vekselberg - its biggest client - as a middleman to pay Cohen. It was caught scrubbing mentions of its ties to Renova Group from its website.

The source, who asked for anonymity as private conversations were being discussed, confirmed the New York Times' account to Reuters by telephone.

Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition
Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition

During their conversation at Trump Tower in January 2017, Cohen and Vekselberg arranged to see one another during the inauguration festivities, which was the second of their three meetings. The meeting was first reported by the New York Times.

Lawyers for Vekselberg and Cohen did not respond to requests for comment by the Times and CNN.

Intrater was also questioned, the sources said.

Vekselberg was targeted in April with U.S. Treasury Department sanctions, which cited his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The footage, taken at the lobby of Trump Tower during the presidential transition, shows Veskelberg and his cousin, Michael Intrater, entering an elevator on the ground floor of Trump Tower in NY. During the campaign, Trump frequently said that he hoped to rebuild ties between the United States and Russian Federation, even as the US government concluded that Russian Federation had orchestrated cyberhacks of Democrats.

Several days before the Cohen-Vekselberg meeting, The Washington Post had interviewed Cohen about allegations in a research dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer on behalf of the Clinton campaign that concluded Trump had coordinated with the Russian influence campaign.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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