Lawmakers question businessman linked to Trump Tower meeting

Lawmakers question businessman linked to Trump Tower meeting

Congressional investigators have questioned a businessman who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpEx-ethics chief: Trump 'Southern White House' tweet part of attempt to monetize presidency DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference Cohen got Us Weekly to kill story about alleged Trump Jr. affair: report MORE and a Russian lawyer, Reuters reports.

Irakly Kaveladze, a Georgian-American businessman who attended the meeting, was questioned by the Senate and House Intelligence committees recently, according to Reuters.

Investigators spoke with Kaveladze after learning that he had met President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE in 2013, Reuters reported. The two men were celebrating an agreement to hold the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump owned at the time, in Moscow.

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The investigators wanted to know the extent of Kaveladze’s contact with Trump and his family and what his role was in arranging the Trump Tower meeting, according to Reuters.

Kaveladze’s lawyer, Scott Balber, told Reuters that the businessman had been at both events, but that Kaveladze hadn’t set up the meeting that took place during the presidential campaign.

He added that Kaveladze was planning on translating during the meeting, but hadn’t done so because the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had brought her own.

Balber said that the committees were treating Kaveladze as a witness and that he wasn’t being targeted in the probe.

“No one has ever told me that they have any interest in him other than as a witness,” Balber told Reuters.

Reports of the Trump Tower meeting first emerged over the summer. Trump Jr. attended the meeting with then-Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos FBI a house of lies in Comey era MORE and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Kushner’s company subpoenaed by federal jury after filing false paperwork MORE.

Veselnitskaya had promised to provide damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge HW Bush wears 'book socks' to Barbara Bush's funeral to honor her passion for literacy Obamas, Clintons to attend funeral of Barbara Bush Hillary Clinton to fundraise in DC for public charter high school MORE's campaign at the meeting, which has become a key part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.

Trump Jr. has said that nothing came of the meeting.