Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, met with a Russian oligarch and discussed US-Russia relations just 11 days before Mr Trump was inaugurated as president, according to a source.
A person familiar with the meeting, held at Trump Tower in New York, said the oligarch, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, met with Mr Cohen for about 20 minutes in his office.
The two men were joined by Andrew Intrater, Mr Vekselberg’s American cousin, who leads a New York private equity firm that manages his financial assets.
Soon after the inauguration, Mr Intrater’s company, Columbus Nova, paid Mr Cohen 500,000 US dollars (£376,000) for consulting work.
Mr Vekselberg was targeted in April with US Treasury Department sanctions, citing his ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.