A Georgian-American businessman, who said he attended a key 2016 meeting at Trump Tower under the pretense of serving as a translator, has been questioned by both Senate and House intelligence committees, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Congressional investigators were already aware the businessman, Irakly Kaveladze, attended the June 9, 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials, but recently became more interested in Kaveladze upon learning he attended a private dinner with President Trump and Aras Agalarov in 2013, according to sources familiar with the interviews who spoke to Reuters. The 2013 dinner was held to celebrate an agreement between Trump, then-owner of the Miss Universe pageant, and Agalarov to bring the pageant to Moscow, according to Reuters’ sources.
Congressional investigators are seeking more information about Kaveladze’s role in orchestrating the meeting and whether there was any discussion of lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia, Reuters reported.
Information about the June 9, 2016 meeting, which included Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, was first reported this summer. Trump Jr. initially claimed the meeting was held to discuss Russian adoptions, but later revealed it was arranged with the promise of receiving damaging information about Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton. A chain of emails Trump Jr. released this summer show he was made aware that the conversation would be “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” according to one email.
Trump Jr., who has also been questioned by congressional investigators, later said he never actually received any information from the Russian lawyer.