McClatchy DC just reported that the Trump Organization’s former senior advisor, a Russian mafia-linked FBI informant, is now cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller’s probe.
Russian-born Felix Sater’s relationship with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and their links to the President’s international business deals in the former Soviet Union are rapidly becoming a major focus of Mueller’s probe, including subpoenas to compel sworn testimony and produce evidence.
He is a twice-convicted felon, who spent eleven years cooperating with the FBI and spent most of that time, plus the following seven years, working for the Trump Organization formally and informally as a business associate.
Details of Sater’s decades-old cooperation agreement indicate that Mueller’s prosecutors – one of whom, Andrew Weissmann, approved his deal originally – possess an overwhelming amount of leverage to obtain his cooperation, even in today’s case. McClatchy reports:
[Felix] Sater is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation and provided more than six hours of closed-door testimony on Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which also focused heavily on the deals involving Cohen, according to multiple people with knowledge of the hearing.
Sater previously provided similar closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017.
Felix Sater is also a childhood friend of embattled Trump lawyer Michael Cohen from Brooklyn, with whom he was involved with in both a secret Ukraine peace deal after Trump’s inauguration and in a Moscow Trump Tower deal during the election. But his history with the Trump Organization goes back to the early 1990s.
In the 2000s, Sater ran numerous Trump Tower projects across the country as the master salesman and developer for the Bayrock Company, which ultimately only finished the Trump SoHo Hotel-condominium in lower Manhattan. Donald, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric Trump still face criminal liability for concealing Felix Sater’s felony history from lenders while borrowing hundreds of millions to build the Trump SoHo.
New York Attorney Richard Lerner litigated against a civil racketeering and bank fraud case against Felix Sater and Bayrock that ultimately ended in a settlement last month, just days after the hotel removed the Trump name. When asked for comment about Sater’s cooperation agreement with the feds, he said:
“Felix Sater was sentenced on October 23, 2009. Most, if not all cooperation agreements contain a waiver of the statute of limitations for crimes committed up to and during the period of cooperation. Sater, therefore, could still be prosecuted up to at least October 23, 2019 for Financial Institution Fraud.”
“Special Prosecutor Mueller may well have some very powerful leverage over ‘Felix the Rat’.”
Felix Sater just finished a national public relations tour last month, where he lied about his violent criminal history on national television and pretended other journalists that he’s just a snitch for the thrill of it, while court records reveal that he actually stole millions of dollars and got away with it with the full knowledge of Uncle Sam.
Buzzfeed News reports that Sater’s contributions to national security were significant, but couldn’t get an on the record source from the CIA to confirm anything, and only one FBI agent.
Ultimately, Sater’s cooperation could be a key turning point in Mueller’s probe, illuminating Donald Trump’s extensive links to Russian speaking countries, because he was the Trump family’s Moscow tour guide in the mid-2000s, and has a nose for trouble.
Read more about Felix Sater’s role in the Trump Organization here:
Donald Trump used NBC's The Apprentice to sell Trump SoHo, which he and his three children, Erc, Don. Jr. and Ivanka co-owned and promoted.
The Trumps participated in a reality TV-driven fraud with Felix Sater involving the lower Manhattan hotel-condo.https://t.co/UnC28Vz75P
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) April 6, 2018