Michael Cohen who is president Trump’s lawyer had a meeting with the Russian Oligarch on the relations between Russia and the U.S eleven days before the inaugural ceremony of making Trump the president, according to an individual who was aware of the meeting.
Viktor Veekselberg who is a billionaire paid Cohen through a firm $500,000 as a consultation fee. Cohen met with Veklelberg in his offices in the Trump Tower’s 26th floor for about 20 minutes, as the individual stated who provided the information anonymously because the meeting was not supposed to be discussed publicly. Viktor and Cohen were later joined by Andrew Intrater, who is the American cousin to Viktor and heads a private equity firm in New York that is responsible for managing the financial assets of the Russians.
The anonymous individual who provided this information said that the meeting that was held in January 2017 was based on cultural and business relations between Russia and the US. Viktor Vekselberg has been working in the past few years on improving the U.S trade and tech relations.
The firm that paid Cohen $500,000 is called Columbus Nova and Stormy Daniels the adult film star’s lawyer said that the money went to a shell company owned by Cohen. The same shell company which is called Essential Consultants LLC was the one that was used to pay off Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) for her silence on the alleged affair that Trump had with her, which Trump denies.
Federal investigations on Cohen are currently going on in New York after Robert Mueller who is a special counsel investigating the contracts between Russian intermediaries and the presidential campaign of Trump referred the matter to the authorities.
Vekselberg is reported by Columbas Nova to have no association with the money transfer as was earlier stated. In April, Vekselberg was targeted with sanctions by the U.S Treasury Department as links were discovered on his ties to Vladimir Putin who is the Russian president.
The New York Times reported the meeting between the three men that happened in the Trump Tower, referring to a video surveillance followed by an Intrater interview. Intrater is the owner of Columbus Nova that is said to have been a medium of paying Cohen with the consultation fee of $500,000.
US President Donald Trump during the weekend asked the Justice Department and the FBI why they didn’t inform him about the “Russia issue” during the presidential campaign in 2016. For those who are just joining in the discussion, it is easy to label the two departments as at fault. Even Ari Fleischer who is the Press Secretary of the White House noted that this concern was raised legitimately.
Now, the issue is not that the question is not valid, but the question was answered several months ago as the NBC News declared in a report that was documented in December last year.
In this report, it showcases how Trump was warned about foreign adversaries that included Russia. He was warned how these adversaries were going to try to spy on his campaign according to several officials of the government who were aware of the matter.
A counterintelligence briefing that was organized by the senior FBI officials was presented to president Trump. Similarly, the FBI presented Hillary Clinton with the same briefing with the objective of providing the presidential nominees with information that would make them be aware of the potential threats that were coming from foreign spies.
According to the report, the two presidential nominees were asked to report about any kind of suspicious activity during their campaigns to the FBI.
There are different ways to look at the whole story. Firstly, the complaint that was presented by Donal Trump – that the FBI should have notified him while he was undertaking the presidential campaign about the “Russian issue” as they attacked his political campaign system- is hard to even take on a serious note given the fact that there is evidence that states that he was given a counterintelligence briefing on the same in 2016.
Since the president decided to remind us about the bigger picture, it shows how much he ignored the entire FBI briefing. Sadly, no one in his campaign thought of mentioning the matter to any law enforcement, even after a counterintelligence briefing was presented about how Russia was planning on gaining access to his presidential campaign system.
To paint the picture whole, when Trump was receiving the first counterintelligence briefing after the FBI warning, several Trump campaign members of staff and his family had met with Russians, but Trump never mentioned anything.