Mueller team interviewed Putin-tied oligarch about payments to Cohen: report

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s team has interviewed a Russian oligarch tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the payments his company made to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions unveils ‘zero tolerance’ policy at southern border NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse Trump Jr. mocks Schneiderman after reports he abused women MORE’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen in the months after the 2016 election, CNN reported Tuesday.

Mueller’s team reportedly questioned Viktor Vekselberg about the hundreds of thousand of dollars paid from his company’s U.S. affiliate, Columbus Nova, to Cohen. Mueller is currently investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The team also asked Vekselberg about donations the head of the American affiliate made to Trump’s campaign and inaugural funds, according to CNN.


Columbus Nova and Intrater did not return CNN’s requests for comment. Vekselberg’s lawyer and representatives for his Russian firm also did not return requests for comment.

Cohen also did not return CNN’s request for comment.

Vekselberg’s cousin, Andrew Intrater, leads the U.S. affiliate. An American, he made $300,000 in political donations to Trump’s campaign, inauguration fund and the Republican National Committee (RNC), the network reported.

The report emerges shortly after Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti alleged that Cohen had received $500,000 from Vekselberg’s company in the months after the 2016 election.

Avenatti suggested that the payments may be related to the reimbursement Cohen received for a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani revealed last week that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the payment. Cohen had previously stated that the payment was made with his own money, and Trump had denied any knowledge of the payment.

Daniels is currently suing Trump to void the nondisclosure agreement about their alleged affair. She is also suing both Trump and Cohen for defamation.