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Ex-Trump associate and federal informant Felix Sater ‘interviewed by US Senate intelligence panel’

Felix Sater, a long-time government informant and former Donald Trump business associate, spoke with US Senate intelligence panel on Wednesday, according to sources

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 April, 2018, 3:17am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 April, 2018, 6:08am

A former business associate of US President Donald Trump who worked as an informant for federal agencies spoke with US Senate Intelligence Committee representatives on Wednesday, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

The sources said committee officials talked to Felix Sater, a long-time government informant and businessman who once had a business card describing him as a “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump”, according to a copy of the card seen by Reuters.

Television crews spotted Sater leaving the Senate panel’s Capitol Hill office early Wednesday afternoon. 

Committee officials had no immediate comment on the substance of the panel’s discussions with Sater.

But Ronn Torossian, a New York public relations executive hired by Sater, confirmed that his client had met with representatives of the panel, and also said that Sater “has for years helped the US government on vital issues”.

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In a statement circulated earlier this year by Torossian, Sater, whose Bayrock Group property company was involved in business deals with the Trump Organization, said his work as a government informant included “preventing attacks on US financial institutions”. 

He also said he had “provided significant intelligence with respect to nuclear weapons in North Korea” as well as information on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

In the late 1990s, Sater became embroiled in a federal racketeering case involving a US$40 million stock fraud. 

As part of a plea agreement, he agreed to become a government informant.

Documents filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, include redacted FBI testimony confirming Sater’s work as an informant.

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Media reports last year said that at the time Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a scheme to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and that Sater, who was born in Russia, urged Trump to visit Moscow to promote the plan. 

Trump never made such a trip, and The Washington Post reported the project was later abandoned.