A federal appeals court just issued a ruling that will unseal records dating back 20-years about Donald Trump’s former senior advisor and original Russian connection, the mobster Felix Sater. Forbes Media LLC and reporter Richard Behar filed the successful request to reveal Felix Sater’s criminal past.
Sater’s company, Bayrock, developed the Trump SoHo Hotel-Condominium in lower Manhattan and a tower in Fort Lauderdale, which both spawned fraud lawsuits, one of which went all the way to the Supreme Court to partially unseal his criminal past and mafia ties.
Now, the 2nd Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has issued a ruling to publicly reveal the court dockets, briefings and records related to Sater’s 1998 conviction for running a massive pump-and-dump penny stock scam. The three-judge panel opined:
The special master shall, in close consultation with the Office of the Clerk of Court, oversee the unsealing all the documents on the dockets of the two above-captioned appeals forwhich the Report recommends unsealing.
The 21 documents on those dockets which the Reportrecommends be unsealed subject to redaction shall be redacted in the manner set forth in the Report and the Addenda.
Notably, in addition to unsealing Sater’s criminal history, the court’s order will release a brief in the case written by Trump biographer and Pulitzer-winning journalist David Cay Johnson. The court ruled:
In addition, in accordance with the special master’s recommendation, Intervenors’ motionto unseal all the motion papers filed by Intervenors in the course of this unsealing action, as well as the amicus brief filed in the course of this unsealing action by amici DCReport.org et al., is GRANTED. It is hereby ORDERED that all the motion papers filed by Intervenors in the instant unsealing action, as well the amicus brief filed in the instant unsealing action by amici DCReport.org, et al., shall themselves be UNSEALED
Donald Trump promoted the Trump SoHo project on his former reality TV show, NBC’s The Apprentice, and reaped a substantial cash reward for slapping his name on the building and management fees, even though the entire project flopped and resulted in a foreclosure. But the Trump Organization continued to manage it and earn $3 million annually for keeping its flagging brand on the front door until bought out late last year.
The Trump family hid a dark secret through the financing, construction and attempts to sell the Trump SoHo; Sater’s past as a felon should’ve disqualified him from borrowing $350 million or owning the company that did.
Instead, the Trump family, which leaked emails show knew about Sater’s felonious past, kept it all quiet in the wake of the New York Times revealing the conviction, and even as the project solicited new financing.
Ivanka and Eric Trump were close to being criminally charged for their roles in Trump SoHo until family fixer attorney Marc Kasowitz intervened, and was later discovered to have given a substantial political donation to the Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance.
A racketeering and fraud lawsuit against Sater and Bayrock is still in the discovery phase in federal court, after he lost a motion to dismiss the case at the end of December 2016. Bayrock whistleblower Jody Kriss is one of the plaintiffs and told all about Trump’s dirty deal to Bloomberg.
Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, reports emerged of Sater working to be a secret back-channel diplomat for the Administration — hand carrying a Ukraine “peace plan” aimed at dropping sanctions to the White House — along with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Evidence emerged last year that Felix Sater had advised the Trump Campaign, and late last year, the New York Times obtained an email from Sater, telling Cohen that he could get all of Putin’s team behind the Trump Campaign which “will get Donald Trump elected.”
Special Counsel Mueller is even investigating Donald Trump and Felix Sater’s Trump SoHo project as part of his probe of Russian election interference.
Now that the federal court agreed to unseal the records, the public is set to know a whole lot more about Felix Sater’s grand scheme to unite the Russian and Italian mafias under one criminal enterprise operating out of the penthouse of the Trump Office building at 40 Wall Street.