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Special Counsel Mueller Queries Russian Oligarch about Cohen Links

A team of investigators allied to special counsel Robert Mueller has probed a Russian oligarch about ties to Michael Cohen. They quizzed the Russian oligarch following revelations that his company’s US affiliate paid some money to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Cohen, right after the elections.

Unbelievably, Viktor Vekselberg, also asset manager chair of Renova Group, is friends with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. Just last month, the Trump administration sanctioned him for a barrage of activities, including election interference. He is now prohibited from traveling to the US.

At present, it remains unclear what the nature of Vekselberg’s business and his relationship with Cohen exactly was. The matter continues to spark debate given the fact that the payments predate the sanctions

Cohen is under continued scrutiny following the raid conducted on his home, hotel room and office by FBI agents operating in Manhattan. When quizzed about it, the prosecutors were quick to point out that their inquiry into the matter was necessitated following Mueller’s referral.

One thing that’s become apparent all through the investigation is that the Mueller investigation is overseeing some of Cohen’s business relationships while they look into the Russian’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Interestingly, Vekselberg is just one of two Russian oligarchs that have been quizzed by the FBI investigators. They managed to question Vekselberg shortly after their private jet touched down in New York area airports earlier on in the year. According to sources, the investigators sought to establish the facts behind Vekselberg’s US affiliate donations to Trump’s campaign and inaugural monies.

A lawyer representing Stormy Daniels, who was allegedly paid $130,000 to keep hush about her affair with Trump more than a decade ago, has brought to the light new revelation that further cement previous media reports.

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As per Michael Avenatti, Cohen received $500,000 from a Vekselberg-affiliated company following the presidential elections. Despite the allegations brought before him, Avenatti has swatted away all speculation

Instead, Avenatti claimed that the half a million dollars went into Essential Consultants’ bank account between January and August 2017.  Amazingly, the account seems to have been set up just a day before elections in order to pay Daniels to keep mum. So far, the prosecutors have not accused Cohen of any transgressions with relations to the payments made.

Other than the Cohen links, the Russian oligarch was also quizzed about $300,000 in political donations by Andrew Intrater, his American cousin who also functions as the head of Columbus Nova. Mueller’s team of investigators also questioned his cousin.

The payments happened at around the same time that Cohen had left the Trump organization and was trying to set up a consulting and legal business. All the same, he still had close ties to Trump since he was his personal lawyer. Incredibly, despite the entire circus around Cohen, Trump referred to him as being his attorney.

Of interest is the fact that Cohen’s attorney had mentioned that his client provided strategic advice and business consulting ideas to about seven clients. In his revelations, the attorney failed to clearly state whether Columbus Nova was one of the seven.

Erica Kosta, the general counsel at Columbus Nova sought to dispel any notions about the company being used by foreigners to influence the state of the nation. In no uncertain terms, he dismissed the assertion that Viktor Vekselberg and his companies had any influence on Columbus Nova.


Manhattan-based prosecutors with the US attorney’s office are looking into Cohen’s personal financial dealings as well as the state of his taxi business. Additionally, they will seek to establish the truth behind Daniel’s payout

The FBI is also seeking to establish the nature of Intrater’s donations to the Trump inaugural fund in the amount of $250,000, about $35,000 to the Trump Victory campaign and an additional $29,600 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) in June 2017.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers Vekselberg a person of interest because he has close ties to the Kremlin. He managed to amass a vast of his wealth during the collapse of the Soviet Union by trading in a couple of deals in the oil and gas industry.

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