Donald Trump’s turncoat former senior advisor and primary business contact to Russia just released a treasure trove of almost 300 pages of communications with the President’s convicted former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
The newly revealed documents from notorious mafia snitch and Trump Organization associate Felix Sater just revealed that Donald Trump’s Russia policy statements throughout the campaign were apparently made to benefit Vladimir Putin and for the purpose of enticing the Russian President into giving his company a windfall tower deal.
Sater worked with both the Trump Organization, its head Donald Trump, and his children Eric, Don Jr. and Ivanka Trump throughout the 2000s before being named the company’s “senior advisor,” according to a 2010 business card.
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Donald Trump publicly claimed not to know him, but in reality, Felix Sater was clandestinely and intimately involved in arranging the Trump Moscow project the whole time, and if Buzzfeed’s report is correct, the Republican primary campaign was a key component of the deal:
The documents, many of which have been exclusively obtained by BuzzFeed News, reveal that — despite Trump’s claim that the development was never more than a passing notion — the effort to get the tower built was long-running, detail-oriented, and directly entwined with the ups and downs of his campaign.
During Donald Trump’s Republican primary run, he made eleven public statements praising Vladimir Putin, including a comment to disgraced former Fox News entertainer Bill O’Reilly just two days after his infamously racist declaration to run.
As Buzzfeed reported today due to their relationship with Sater – who is the source of the records – the ultimate con required Don to lie regularly about his Russian business dealings on the campaign trail:
As Trump went from rally to rally, vociferously denying any dealings in Russia, his representatives, Michael Cohen and his associate Felix Sater, worked with Trump Organization lawyers and even Ivanka Trump to push forward negotiations to build a 100-story edifice just miles from the Kremlin.
The fixers believed they needed Putin’s support to pull off the lucrative deal, and they planned to use Trump’s public praise for him to help secure it.
In fact, Trump’s three October 2015 statements praising Russia’s dictator are an eerie foreshadowing of his very public bear hug of the authoritarian in October 2016 during the height of the election one year later.
From September 29th, 2015, through November 3rd of that year Trump made five public statements of praise for Putin while his people were secretly negotiating a deal with the Russian President.
On December 17th, 2015, Putin replied with public praise for Trump, which his subordinates Felix Sater and Michael Cohen rightly took as a signal to move forward on their Moscow Tower deal.
The cache of records even reveals Felix Sater’s personal wounding over Donald Trump publicly claiming not to know him – something we now know is his standard lie – and how he and Cohen discussed Putin’s personal involvement in the real estate deal during the election.
By June 2016, Trump’s team began meeting with Russian government representatives whom they believed to be a part of Putin’s efforts to assist their presidential campaign, and according to Buzzfeed‘s document dump, Sater even arranged for Cohen to attend Russia’s version of the Davos Forum for the ultra-wealthy, and the event was working hard to expedite his visa (see image below).
But when the Washington Post reported that Russia hacked the DNC a few days after the infamous Trump Tower meeting, that’s when the Moscow Tower deal fell apart.
Later that afternoon, Cohen and Sater meet in the atrium at Trump Tower in New York. Sater will later recall in an interview with BuzzFeed News that this meeting was when Cohen told him the Trump Tower Moscow deal was off.
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Last March, Felix Sater began to give a stream of tips and presumably the documents released today to Buzzfeed News, who conveniently whitewashed his violent past to get the scoop, while he planned a Hollywood movie about his life of crime.
The long-term FBI informant Sater first testified to Congress in 2017 and was grilled by the Senate in early April of last year, then turned against Trump soon thereafter. Reporting that he turned surfaced only three days before the fateful raid on his longtime friend Cohen.
Special Counsel Mueller’s criminal information about Michael Cohen’s plea deal last month indicated that Trump’s personal lawyer had taken the extraordinary step of speaking on the phone with the office of Dimitri Peskov, Putin’s official spokesman.
Putin’s spokesman knew that Trump’s personal lawyer had lied to Congress about their discussions and helped cover up his compromising lies publicly.
That call is also where Cohen allegedly made the offer to bribe Putin, offering him ownership of a $50 million penthouse, which could be a federal crime.
In order to prove the offer of a condo to Putin is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law prohibiting Americans from bribing foreign officials, prosecutors would have to prove that Trump had knowledge of the scheme.
Apparently, Cohen plea-bargained away his own violation of the FCPA by cooperating fully with Mueller and giving information to New York’s SDNY federal prosecutors.
If Russia’s President has proof that Trump offered him the bribe – for which Cohen was acting as his lawyer and agent when the offer was made, so that’s not a far fetched idea – then Putin wouldn’t need a pee tape to blackmail the President. Solid proof of the bribe offer would be strong kompromat in any language.
We know that Donald Trump answered a series of written interrogatories about his Russian dealings for Special Counsel Mueller. One could imagine that his answers could contain incriminating lies or truthful admissions of criminality, based on these documents which clearly indicate the sinister reason that the FBI opened an investigation into the President.
Trump made a series of public statements which it is likely he knew would benefit Moscow’s government, in the manner that a foreign agent of influence might perform, to work the most lucrative real estate deal of his life. His attorney Cohen lied to Congress in the cover-up of those statements and that deal, and surely, given his numerous lies and denials, we know that he had ample reason to hide his courtship of Putin.
When then-Republican nominee Trump publicly asked “Russia, if you’re listening” he hoped they could find more emails from Hillary Clinton, he meant it. Mueller revealed last summer that Russian military intelligence was, in fact, listening when Trump asked for help.
Buzzfeed‘s revelation today of Trump’s numerous campaign statements during the primary as both intentional and intended for profit raise the specter of a quid pro quo.
The fact that Trump supported his real estate deal with political favors to Putin hints at the outlines of what Mueller’s Trump Russia probe will likely yield: a conspiracy charge between the Trump Organization’s operatives and the candidate to solicit clandestine Russian government campaign assistance.
Here’s the complete Trump Moscow project document dump from Buzzfeed: