Donald Trump’s former senior advisor, a man named Felix Sater, just won’t go away. Although the Trump campaign has tried and tried to make Sater disappear, the presidential candidate’s relationship with the twice-convicted member of the Russian mafia is impossible to bury.
As New York Daily News reports here,
“Sater pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the Genovese and Bonanno crime families, according to court records. Prosecutors called the operation a pump-and-dump scheme, in which insiders manipulate the price of obscure stocks and then sell them to hapless investors at inflated prices. Five years earlier, a New York State court had sentenced Sater to more than a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass.”
ABC News provides further details about the assault charges, reporting that:
“According to court documents, Sater allegedly told a man at the bar, “I’ll kill you. I’ll rip your f****** head off and stick it down your throat.” Sater then allegedly grabbed a frozen margarita from the bar, flung the contents in the air, smashed the glass on the bar, and stabbed the man in the cheek and neck, breaking his cheek and jaw, lacerating face and neck and severing nerves. He was convicted of first degree assault.”
Trump’s relationship with Sater is well documented. The two appear in photos together, are known to have attended business conferences together and worked together on Trump’s SoHo Hotel and Condominium project. On his website, Sater referred to Trump’s SoHo project as “his most prized project.”
Trump’s relationship with the Russian mobster traces back to at least the early 2000’s. Sater was an executive with a development firm called the Bayrock Group, which was located inside Trump Towers. Sater was awaiting sentencing on the racketeering charges when the two men first began doing business together.
Given the publicity surrounding the case, which involved four well-known mafia families, it would have been nearly impossible for Trump not to have known that he was doing business with an admitted member of the Russian mafia.
As ABC News reports,
“Sater’s role at Bayrock was not clearly defined. He at various times appeared in company emails and other records as the “chief operating officer” or “managing director.” In a 2010 deposition Sater said titles at the firm varied. “I was probably number two man in the company,” he said. “The actual position, I don’t remember what it was.”
At least four Trump/Bayrock projects were either never built or had to be completed by someone else. Both companies were involved in a string of lawsuits, filed by investors who said they were defrauded.
According to ABC News,
“During this period, Trump and Bayrock also collaborated on a proposal for the 600,000-square-foot Trump International Hotel and Residences, Phoenix, that was to include a spa, swimming pools, ‘exquisite gardens,’ and ‘a world-class celebrity chef restaurant.’
The project never got off the ground, however, and in a 2007 lawsuit filed in state court against ‘the Trump/Bayrock Organization,’ the plaintiff alleged that Sater threatened one of the Arizona partners in the deal, a man named Earnest Mennes. Sater was alleged to have told Mennes he would call in a relative to “electrically shock Mr. Mennes’ testicles, cut off Mr. Mennes’ legs, and leave Mr. Mennes dead in the trunk of his car.”
Sater’s position with Bayrock ended in 2007.
In 2010, Sater was elevated to the position of “Senior Advisor To Donald Trump.” His business card, which appeared on his website, listed his address and phone at Trump Towers. It also gave an email address at TRUMPORG.com.
Video obtained by ABC News shows Donald Trump denying his relationship to the Russian mobster under oath.
ABC News reports that once the media started asking questions about Sater’s role as senior advisor to Trump, images of his business card, which listed the official Trump email and phone number, were scrubbed from the internet.
The Trump campaign now admits that Sater’s role as “Senior Advisor To Donald Trump” was official. Yet Trump continues to try to deny his connections to the mobster. According to the campaign, Sater’s business card was merely a symbolic token, but the mobster never actually worked for Trump.
The fact that the contact information on Sater’s business card listed an email address at TRUMPORG.com, along with an address and phone within Trump Towers, says otherwise.
Trump’s connection with the mob doesn’t begin and end at Sater. In July, CNN reported in detail on the presidential candidate’s various connections to organized crime, which are described as “extraordinarily extensive.”
Featured image credit via video screen capture ABC News