The story of Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer capable of providing damning information against his father’s then presidential campaign running mate, Hillary Clinton, appears to be an ever changing one. News broke last week that there was an eighth person involved, Irakly Kaveladze, whose presence was confirmed by a lawyer for Aras Agalarov.
The meeting is a story that is a little hard to keep track of so let’s do a role call of the other seven attendees first — The meeting was arranged by Donald Trump Jr. as the main representative for his father with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with the dirt on Hillary. Also present was President Trump’s nephew, Jared Kushner, and then-chair of the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, both of whom were there at the request of Trump Jr, seemingly to make the meeting appear more serious. Then there was Rob Goldstone, a British publicist who contacted the Trumps on behalf of the Agalarovs, the Russian Oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin and a Trump family friend, who set up the session in the first place. Also present was Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who, by his own admission, worked as a military counterintelligence officer for the former Soviet Union and had also bragged about how easily he could coordinate an email hacking campaign, and Anatoli Samochornov, a former State Department staffer who was there solely to translate.
Which brings us to Irakly Kaveladze, a 52-year-old born in the Soviet Republic of Georgia who immigrated to the US in 1991. Also known as “Ike,” Kaveladze was the eighth person present during the meeting and this is where things get truly interesting, as Kaveladze was once the main focal point of a congressional money-laundering probe. On his personal website, Kaveladze refers to himself as the vice president of Agalarov’s Moscow-based real estate company, Crocus Group. His LinkedIn profile has him living in the Russian Federation, however, public records show he is linked to New Jersey-based businesses.
Kaveladze is listed in business filings as founder of the IBC Group, based at 333 Sylvan Ave. in Englewood Cliffs, in a completely empty suite with unopened mail by the door. That exact New Jersey address is also shared with several shell companies connected to Aras Agalarov, one of which is Saffron Property Management, which Agalarov reportedly used to purchase an $11 million condominium last year in Florida. The other companies that share the Sylvan Ave. address include CI Publishing, PB Consulting, Russian Art Mall and a company called RJI Properties, run by two childhood friends of Agalarov’s son, Emin. For some strange reason, RJI’s Instagram account links to Emin’s sister’s real estate profile.
Another thing his own webpage and LinkedIn profile both fail to mention is Kaveladze’s alleged role in laundering $1.4 billion during the mid-1990s. In November, 2000, Kaveladze was named in news stories after a report on Russian money laundering through U.S. financial institutions was issued by the General Accounting Office. According to the congressional inquiry, Kaveladze formed 2,000 corporations for Russian brokers through his company which was called International Business Creations at the time. These corporations were then used to help steer more than $1.4 billion in wire transactions through U.S. banks.
The story of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyers may have been compelling when the story first broke, but this is only the beginning.
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