A Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed on Monday by Judicial Watch against the Department of Justice seeks all records of communications regarding Felix Sater - a former Trump organization official known to US intelligence as "The Quarterback," who was recently confirmed to be an informant for both the FBI and CIA.
Sater went from a "Wall Street wunderkind" working at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to getting barred from the securities industry over a barroom brawl which led to a year in prison, to facilitating a $40 million pump-and-dump stock scheme for the New York mafia, to working telecom deals in Russia - where the FBI and CIA tapped him in the late 1990s as an undercover intelligence asset who was told by his handler "I want you to understand: If you’re caught, the USA is going to disavow you and, at best, you get a bullet in the head," according to BuzzFeed.
Sater reportedly “began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme.” It was Andrew Weissmann who, as supervising assistant U.S. attorney, signed the agreement that brought Sater on as a government informant. Federal prosecutors wrote a letter to Sater’s sentencing judge on August 27, 2009, in an effort to get him a lighter sentence: “Sater’s cooperation was of a depth and breadth rarely seen.” -Judicial Watch
Sater also spearheaded the failed Trump Tower Moscow scheme with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen according to the same report (which BuzzFeed walked back months later, saying instead that the project was Cohen's idea).
Judicial Watch notes that "The Mueller report mentions Sater more than 100 times but fails to mention that he was an active undercover informant for the FBI/CIA for more than two decades. In 2017, Sater was the subject of two interviews conducted under a proffer agreement with Mueller’s office according to page 69, footnote 304 of Mueller’s report on his Russian collusion investigation."
As such, their lawsuit seeks all communications with Sater - including the FBI's 302 interview reports and offer agreements between Mueller and Sater.
A Sater Setup?
Interestingly, Judicial Watch chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison noted in June that "Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for [Trump attorney Michael] Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners."
The Trump campaign appears to have rejected Sater's attempts - however the Mueller report notes that "Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow" into the spring of 2016 - and tried to arrange a meeting between Putin and Trump.
So we're clear - and FBI/CIA informant attempted to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin right as "Russiagate" began heating up - perhaps in an effort to take Trump down for the so-called "deep state" he worked for.
"Was a Russian real estate deal being pushed on the Trump Organization part of a set-up by a FBI/CIA informant?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
As we noted last March of Sater's assistance to the US government:
During the course of his work for the agencies, all unpaid, BuzzFeed confirmed the following exploits:
- He obtained five of the personal satellite telephone numbers for Osama bin Laden before 9/11 and he helped flip the personal secretary to Mullah Omar, then the head of the Taliban and an ally of bin Laden, into a source who provided the location of al-Qaeda training camps and weapons caches.
- In 2004, he persuaded a source in Russia’s foreign military intelligence to hand over the name and photographs of a North Korean military operative who was purchasing equipment to build the country’s nuclear arsenal.
- Sater provided US intelligence with details about possible assassination threats against former president George W. Bush and secretary of state Colin Powell. Sater reported that jihadists were hiding in a hut outside Bagram Air Base and planned to shoot down Powell’s plane during a January 2002 visit. He later told his handlers that two female al-Qaeda members were trying to recruit an Afghan woman working in the Senate barbershop to poison President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.
- He went undercover in Cyprus and Istanbul to catch Russian and Ukrainian cybercriminals around 2005. After the FBI set him up with a fake name and background, Sater posed as a money launderer to help nab the suspects for washing funds stolen from US financial institutions.
And how did he get bin Laden's sat phone numbers? He tricked his Northern Alliance source into believing he would become the "Alan Greenspan of Afghanistan" - running the country's federal reserve after the U.S. invasion.
Sater said he set up Delaware LLCs in the US — for the “Bank of Kabul” and the “Bank of Afghanistan.” He registered websites to convince the Northern Alliance source that he was serious about his intentions, going so far, he said, as to print out the corporate registrations, adorn them with ribbons, and use a wax stamp to make them seem more official. He said he mailed the documents, and a satellite phone, to the source.
Two former Justice Department officials said Sater took these steps without the FBI’s knowledge or authorization, telling his handlers about it only after the fact. -BuzzFeed
We have a feeling that even if Judicial Watch is successful in their legal action, all we're going to learn from the US government about Felix Sater is [redacted].