Another Russian Shoe Drops: Trump Business Associate Claimed Moscow Deal Would “Get Donald Elected”
The New York Times now has copies of the rumored emails between Donald Trump and career criminal business associate Felix Sater, in which Sater boasted he would put together a Russian real estate deal that would help Trump win the presidency — with help from Vladimir Putin.
WASHINGTON — A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.
Trump’s lawyers are denying anything came of this, of course. It would be easy to prove if they’d only release Trump’s financial records. Which they won’t do.
A Bloomberg article from June 2017 has more on the, uh, interesting career of Felix Sater.
Bayrock partnered with the future president and his two eldest children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, on a series of real-estate deals between 2002 and about 2011, the most prominent being the troubled Trump Soho hotel and condominium in Manhattan.
During the years that Bayrock and Trump did deals together, the company was also a bridge between murky European funding and a number of projects in the U.S. to which the president once lent his name in exchange for handsome fees. Icelandic banks that dealt with Bayrock, for example, were easy marks for money launderers and foreign influence, according to interviews with government investigators, legislators, and others in Reykjavik, Brussels, Paris and London. Trump testified under oath in a 2007 deposition that Bayrock brought Russian investors to his Trump Tower office to discuss deals in Moscow, and said he was pondering investing there.
“It’s ridiculous that I wouldn’t be investing in Russia,” Trump said in that deposition. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment.”
One of Bayrock’s principals was a career criminal named Felix Sater who had ties to Russian and American organized crime groups. Before linking up with the company and with Trump, he had worked as a mob informant for the U.S. government, fled to Moscow to avoid criminal charges while boasting of his KGB and Kremlin contacts there, and had gone to prison for slashing apart another man’s face with a broken cocktail glass.
In a series of interviews and a lawsuit, a former Bayrock insider, Jody Kriss, claims that he eventually departed from the firm because he became convinced that Bayrock was actually a front for money laundering.
Nice friends our so-called president has.