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What you need to know about eighth guy in Donald Jr.’s Russia meeting

Ike Kaveladze attended the now-infamous 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower. So, who is he?
Ike Kaveladze
Ike Kaveladze has been identified as the eighth mystery guest at a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who allegedly promised dirt on then-candidate HIllary Clinton. Photo: LinkedIn/Ike Kaveladze

Ike Kaveladze is the eighth person who attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian government lawyer, according to reports.

“The eighth person has been identified by prosecutors, and we are cooperating fully with prosecutors as a result of the investigation,” the man’s lawyer said, CNN reported.

Who is Ike Kaveladze?

Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze is a senior vice president of a company founded by Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov.

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The American-based Russian businessman studied at the Moscow Academy of Finance and has an MBA from the University of New Haven in Connecticut, according to his website. Kaveladze, 52, works in real-estate investment.

Why was Ike Kaveladze at the meeting?

Scott Balber, a lawyer representing Kaveladze, confirmed his attendance at the Trump Tower meeting to The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Balber said Kaveladze is a long-time U.S. citizen who speaks fluent Russian and has "never had any engagement with the Russian government in any capacity,” CNN reported.

Balber told The Washington Post that Kaveladze attended the meeting with Natalie Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer at the center of the meeting, on behalf of Agalarov. Kaveladze was reportedly there to serve as an interpreter, but Veselnitskaya brought her own —Anatoli Samochornov, a former State Department employee.

According to his lawyer, Kaveladze recalled discussing the Magnitsky Act that imposed sanctions on Russia in 2012 as well as the Kremlin’s response – a ban on adoption of Russian children by American citizens.

What are Ike Kaveladze’s ties to President Trump?

The meeting was arranged at the behest of Agalarov, who hosted the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, which then-businessman Donald Trump owned.

Kaveladze and Agalarov were seen at a private dinner with Trump in 2013.

Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, an alleged Russian mobster and fugitive accused of running illegal activities from Trump Tower, was Trump’s red carpet guest at the event.

What does this mean for the Russia investigation?

The meeting at Trump Tower and Donald Jr.’s emails about the meeting might have torpedoed President Trump’s chances of wiggling out from under the rubble of the Russia investigation, and they dumped more doubts on characters like POTUS’ son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Balber told WaPo on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller asked if his client would agree to an interview. Balber said Kaveladze would cooperate.

This is the first hint that Mueller is looking into the June 2016 meeting as part of his probe into possible collusion between Team MAGA and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

 
 
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