House Panel to Interview Russian Who Was at Trump Tower MeetingBy
The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled Thursday to interview Ike Kaveladze, a Russian-born California businessman who attended a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, during the height of the presidential campaign.
The closed-door interview by the committee was confirmed by a congressional official familiar with the committee’s agenda.
That 2016 meeting had been set on a pretext of providing the Trump campaign incriminating information about Democrat Hillary Clinton. Scott Balber, a lawyer who represents Kaveladze, said in July that Kaveladze was sent by his boss, Aras Agalarov, to escort Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to Fifth Avenue and act as her translator. However, Veselnitskaya already had a translator, who is regularly at her side at U.S. meetings.
Among those also attending were Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now a senior White House adviser; Trump’s then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.
Kaveladze was a focus of a congressional inquiry in 2000 into alleged Russian money laundering through banks in California and New York, but was never charged.