By now, everyone knows about the infamous meeting that took place between Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June of 2016. In fact, as the investigation into possible collusion continues, more and more information has surfaced about that meeting, which was also attended by additional members of the Trump campaign including the now-indicted Paul Manafort.
But aside from the fact that investigators forced Trump’s son to admit that the pretext of the meeting was not actually Russian adoptions, as he first deceptively told them, but in fact an effort to obtain “dirt” on his father’s opponent in the presidential race, little is known about what happened in that room in Trump Tower.
That is, until investigators called Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Georgian-American businessman who acted as a translator in the meeting, to come testify before them.
The Congressional panels had known Kaveladze was at the meeting for some time, but his attendance seemed compulsory until investigators found out that he’d had dealings with Donald Trump in the past. It turns out Ike was at one point a vice president in the Crocus Group, a real estate megafirm with global developments headed up by Aras Agalarov, a Russian friend of Donald Trump’s. Agalarov played host to Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe pageant in his Crocus City Hall amphitheater in Moscow, Russia.
However, Kaveladze wasn’t just there as a translator, and it seems his Crocus days were not yet behind him, because he apparently attended the meeting on behalf of Agalarov, who would have been a strange participant indeed in a discussion in America with a presidential campaign of anything unrelated to lifting Russian sanctions.
There is literally no other reason Agalarov would have been at that meeting, and other than an ostensible role as a “translator,” the same can be said for his emissary Kaveladze.
It’s not Ike’s first run-in with American investigators, either. Nearly 20 years ago, the Government Accountability Office investigated thousands of bank accounts Kaveladze had opened in the U.S. for Russian-owned corporations suspected of laundering money through American banks.
At the time, Kaveladze called the investigation by a name he may have shared with his pal Donald Trump: A “witch hunt.”
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Andrew hates long walks on the beach, glitter, and men’s rights activists. He can usually be found with his long-suffering wife, who can usually be found asking him to please not order onions on that burger, babe.