Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg Met With Michael Cohen at Trump Tower

Russian oligarch Viktor F. Vekselberg met with President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen at Trump Tower in January 2017, just 11 days before the presidential inauguration, according to video footage obtained by The New York Times. During the meeting, Vekselberg and Cohen reportedly discussed strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, and made plans to see each other again during the inauguration. American businessman Andrew Intrater, who is Vekselberg’s cousin and invests money for him, attended the meeting, and told the Times it was a brief discussion. Shortly after the inauguration, Intrater’s firm, Columbus Nova, gave Cohen a consulting deal worth $1 million. “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,” he told the newspaper. The Daily Beast reported this month that Cohen received hundreds of thousands of dollars in eight installments from Columbus Nova beginning in January 2017. A source told The Daily Beast that Vekselberg used Intrater as a “cut-out” for his access to Cohen, a characterization Columbus Nova disputed. Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly questioned Vekselberg about his payments to Cohen and other matters.