An American-based businessman working for a powerful Russia real estate company was identified Tuesday as the eighth person at the infamous Russia meeting at Trump Tower last year.
Ike Kaveladze, 52, joined Trump campaign associates and Russian nationals at the meeting that has become a spiraling scandal for the Trump administration. Donald Trump Jr., the President’s eldest son, set up the sitdown after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Kaveladze’s lawyer confirmed his client’s presence at the meeting but said Kaveladze played no part in the discussion and doesn’t even recall speaking.
“He literally had no idea what the meeting was about until he showed up right before,” Balber told the Los Angeles Times.
He said Kaveladze got roped into the meeting just to “make sure it happened,” since he works for the family that wanted to set it up.
Balber and Kaveladze did not return calls from the Daily News.
Kaveladze is a vice president focused on real estate and finance at the Crocus Group, a company owned by the Agalarov family in Russia, which has ties to President Trump and his family. According to emails released by Trump Jr., a member of the Agalarov wanted to set up the Trump Tower meeting in the first place.
Kaveladze’s website he oversees the company’s international developments, including “securing and structuring project investments” with foreign contractors.
The Georgian native, who immigrated to the United States and earned an MBA from the University of New Haven, has a troubled past with finances.
In 2000, the U.S. Government Accountability Office accused Kaveladze of laundering more than $1.4 billion from Russia and eastern Europe through U.S. banks in a scheme that spanned nearly a decade.
Kaveladze allegedly opened more than 2,000 corporations in Delaware on behalf of Russian brokers and then opened bank accounts for them.
Kaveladze denied the accusations and said the investigation was an American “witch hunt” against Russians.
Kaveladze is believed to be the final person who will be identified as a member of the meeting at the Trump Tower.
Previously confirmed were: Trump Jr., President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, her translator Anatoli Samochornov, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and music publicist Rob Goldstone, who initiated the meeting.
Goldstone pitched the meeting by emailing Trump Jr. with promises of offering “incriminating” information on Clinton, Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent. Goldstone acknowledged that this was “part of Russia and its government’s support” for Donald Trump.
Trump Jr. never revealed the meeting until The New York Times exposed it this month. Even after releasing Goldstone’s emails and said he was being “totally transparent,” Trump’s eldest son did not disclose the details of who attended.
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