Robert Mueller pushed back against BuzzFeed News’s report that the special counsel has proof that Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow. BuzzFeed News has responded by standing by that report and subsequently reporting even more news about Trump Tower Moscow that buttress their initial assertion, like the e-mail you will read below.
Yesterday, their investigative team reported that Rinat Akhmetshin—a Soviet military officer turned Washington lobbyist—deposited a half million dollars in suspicious transactions before and after the famed 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Today, BuzzFeed News dropped a huge cache of documents (284 pages) along with their report about how these “secret files show how Trump Moscow talks unfolded while Trump heaped praise on Putin.”
One e-mail certainly stood out, and it was sent to Michael Cohen by Felix Sater, the longtime Trumpworld deputy and U.S.S.R.-born financial criminal-turned-U.S. intelligence asset who gave us “information crucial to national security” according to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in her confirmation hearing.
Per Sater to Cohen:
Got the signed [Letter of Intent] for Trump Moscow, I am on a plane to Nassau, Bahamas to spend 8 day with Andrey and I just watched the Trump press conference. Loved Putin/Russia reference. I need that part of the press conference cut into a short clip to be played for Putin…BTW a very close person & partner to Putins closest friend, partner and advisor who has been with Putin since teenage years his friend and partner (on the largest shopping center in Moscow) is flying in to the private island in the Bahamas Andrey rented next week.
Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected…Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.
Michael, Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, and Donald claims the Republican nomination…You and I will get Donald and Vladimir on a stage together very shortly. This is a game changer.
Get me the clip I will get it to Putin and his people quickly and it will help our cause and process. Thanks for getting the Trump LOI signed by Donald. Now the hard work begins.
Felix Sater is not a nobody in Trump’s world. He is someone who is continually near projects of importance. The BBC reported that Michael Cohen was paid at least $400,000 by forces connected to Ukranian president Petro Poroshenko in order to influence Trump, and that Sater was the intermediary. Sater even confirmed to Fox News that he was involved with Ukraine’s government the year before the BBC report, saying he was “just trying to help with the highly scrutinized Ukrainian “peace plan” in early 2017.
Justin Henderson, a developer in Denver who worked with Trump and Sater on an unsuccessful deal to try to bring a Trump Tower to Colorado in 2005, told the Rocky Mountain News that “they seemed to get along just fine. It seemed that Mr. Trump relied heavily on Mr. Sater’s opinion on certain markets.” Sater even donated the maximum amount to Trump’s 2016 campaign (he actually gave too much, and FEC records show the Trump campaign refunded him $120), and Sater still lists “senior advisor to Donald Trump” in 2010-2011 on his LinkedIn profile.
Sater testified under oath that he took Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump to Moscow in 2006, had met personally with the elder Donald over the course of the 2000s, and confirmed the aforementioned trip to Colorado, yet in 2013, Trump said about Felix Sater in court: “if he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.”
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.