If you thought Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony was damaging to Donald Trump, wait until you hear what former felon and Russian mobster Felix Sater has to say.
Sater has been a close friend and business associate of Donald Trump’s in New York City for many years. They worked together on the infamous Trump Soho project which was reputed to be a front for Russian money laundering.
They also worked together on the proposed deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow. It was Sater who Michael Cohen dealt with, and together they offered a $50 million penthouse condo to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a bribe to get the deal approved.
Sater is also a government informant, and has been providing information to federal prosecutors for several years. His testimony could be really bad news for the president.
A spokesperson for the Intelligence Committee said in an emailed statement: “Due to scheduling issues, the Committee has moved Mr. Sater’s open interview to March 27. He continues to cooperate with the committee.”
This is the same thing that happened to Michael Cohen, when his planned testimony date kept getting pushed back.
In both cases House Democrats, such as Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff were not unhappy about the delay in hearing damaging testimony from a close Trump associate. In fact, they actually seemed happy about it.
And we should be happy too.
The truth is that Sater is delaying his testimony against Trump for two weeks because there are things that prosecutors don’t want him to publicly reveal yet. And these are things that could send Donald Trump to jail.
When Cohen’s testimony was delayed it was worthwhile because when he eventually showed up for his televised hearing we heard testimony — and saw documents — that were devastating for Donald Trump.
There has been speculation that Sater’s testimony will be at least as damaging to the president as Cohen’s, and in fact may be worse. It also is likely to implicate Trump’s children Don Jr. and Ivanka.
If rumors are true, then Sater will provide the committee both oral and written evidence that our president was in business with the Russian mob. He will probably be able to prove that Trump and Russian criminals worked together for years on illegal real estate deals that were fronts for money laundering operations involving hundreds of millions of dollars.
Yes, we are disappointed that we won’t get to see Felix Sater testify against Donald Trump on TV this week. But we’re pretty sure the wait will be worth it.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.