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 TrumpGovernment paid K to Trump company for Scotland stay Juan Williams: Putin wins as GOP spins Trump Jr. mocks the 'resistance' over 'baby blimp' in London 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 TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism 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.


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 ManafortJudge rejects Manafort's bid to move trial further from DC Mueller seeking immunity for up to 5 people to testify in Manafort trial 5 revelations from Mueller's indictment of Russians in DNC hack MORE and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOn The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger NY to investigate allegations of tenant harassment by Kushner Cos. Tenants in Kushner Cos. building say they were pushed out: report MORE.

Veselnitskaya had promised to provide damaging information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections 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.