An eighth person who attended a controversial meeting with President Donald Trump’s eldest son has been identified as a top official of a company founded by a Russian billionaire with links to the Trumps, CNN said Tuesday.
The confirmation is the latest development in the burgeoning scandal over the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia after it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. attended the June 2016 meeting during the campaign hoping to get dirt on his father’s rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr. had been told over email that a “Russian government attorney” would provide damaging details. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended.
The latest confirmed participant is Ike Kaveladze, the senior vice president of the Crocus Group – a real estate business headed by Aras Agalarov, the Azerbaijani-Russian mogul who has done business with the Trumps – according to CNN, citing Kaveladze’s lawyer for confirmation of his identity.
According to the lawyer, Scott Balber, Kaveladze is a US citizen who went to the meeting at Trump Tower under the impression that he would translate for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was thought to have the potentially incriminating information.
“The eighth person has been identified by prosecutors and we are cooperating fully with prosecutors as a result of the investigation,” Balber told CNN, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into suspicions that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election.
Also at the meeting was Briton Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who arranged the encounter.
Goldstone is close to pop star Emin Agalarov, who is Aras Agalarov’s son and who performed during the 2013 Miss Universe beauty competition that was organised by the Trumps.
Also in attendance was a Russian-American lobbyist and Veselnitskaya’s translator. (AFP)