A person close to Mr. Intrater said that the executive had no idea Essential Consultants was used for the separate payment to Ms. Clifford, and that he hired a number of other consultants at the time for similar prices.
“Columbus Nova is an investment management company solely owned and controlled by Americans,” said Richard Owens, a lawyer for Mr. Intrater and Columbus Nova, adding that Mr. Vekselberg has never owned the firm. “After the inauguration, the firm hired Michael Cohen as a business consultant regarding potential sources of capital and potential investments in real estate and other ventures.
“Reports today that Viktor Vekselberg used Columbus Nova as a conduit for payments to Michael Cohen are false. The claim that Viktor Vekselberg was involved in or provided any funding for Columbus Nova’s engagement of Michael Cohen is patently untrue,” Mr. Owens said. “Neither Viktor Vekselberg nor anyone