The head of an American firm that made payments to President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, believed that Cohen could bring major Republican donors to the company for possible investment deals, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Andrew Intrater, the CEO of Columbus Nova, reportedly first met Cohen at a Manhattan bar weeks ahead of the 2016 presidential election where the two discussed investments in the taxi industry.
Cohen and Intrater continued to correspond in the months afterward, leading the two men to sit together at one of President Trump's inauguration dinners, along with Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Columbus Nova is the U.S. affiliate of Vekselberg's company.
Intrater was reportedly impressed after he saw major GOP donors speak with Cohen at Trump’s inauguration, and hoped that Cohen could connect the wealthy donors to Columbus Nova for possible deals and investments.
“Really looking forward to blowing it out!!” Intrater emailed Cohen after hiring him as a consultant.
However, the company rejected the investments that Cohen suggested, included alcohol-infused ice pops, and Columbus Nova ended its relationship with the attorney after seven months and $580,000 in payments, according to The Times.
Cohen also reportedly solicited donations from Intrater to the GOP ahead of the inauguration.
The Times noted that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Intrater or Vekselberg.
“Columbus Nova has cooperated with all requests for documents and information from federal authorities,” Richard Owens, a lawyer for Intrater and the firm, told The Times.
Stormy Daniels’s attorney Michael Avenatti first alleged earlier this month that Cohen had received about $500,000 from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg’s company.
Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE has reportedly questioned Vekselberg about the payments to Cohen.
An attorney for Columbus Nova said in a statement to The Hill at the time of the reports that the company had hired Cohen after the inauguration "as a business consultant regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures."
Company representatives told The Times that Vekselberg wasn’t involved in the decision to hire Cohen. However, a source told the newspaper that Cohen and the oligarch had met several times.
Cohen was also revealed to have landed consulting deals with several other companies after Trump's inauguration, including AT&T and pharmaceutical giant Novartis.