Edward Mermelstein has represented Russian oligarchs in business transactions. Now, he advises Mayor Eric Adams on foreign affairs issues.
By LOUIS FLORES
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s southern district this week refused to answer questions about a controversial appointment in the administration of Mayor Eric Adams (D-New York City). Several press reports have raised concerns about the selection of the attorney and agent Edward Mermelstein to serve as an advisor to Mayor Adams on issues related to the City’s role as host to the United Nations and several foreign Government consulates.
Mr. Mermelstein has acted as agent for, and has marketed himself as a consultant to, several Russian oligarchs, who have faced, or are likely to face, sanctions over their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Could the Justice Department announcement of a crackdown on Russian oligarchs lead Federal investigators to City Hall ?
On 2 March, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a task force to effect sweeping sanctions imposed on 24 February by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Russian interests and high net worth Russian individuals following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr. Mermelstein has worked for a foundation led by Viktor Vekselberg, who faced sanctions in 2018 after Russia invaded Crimea, according to a report published by the cable news network CNBC. Mr. Mermelstein has also marketed his consulting services to the very type of Russian oligarchs, who were newly added to the U.S. Sanctions List, according a report published by POLITICO.
Last month, Progress New York reported that the same Manhattan Federal prosecutors’ office would not address the possibility of a security threat posed by questions about Mayor Adams’ suitability for public office.