Of all the vast and various aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal, one of the most notable – and underreported – has been Donald Trump’s longtime business connection to convicted Russian mafia money laundering figure Felix Sater, who has served as an FBI informant in the past. We’ve been waiting a long time to learn what Sater’s current status is, and how he might end up playing into the Trump-Russia investigation. It turns out it’s the worst news possible for Donald Trump.
Felix Sater is still an FBI informant, according to a new BuzzFeed expose. In fact he’s not merely some low level tattler. He’s been used as an asset by everyone from the FBI to the CIA, and he’s been dispatched to gather intel on everyone from Osama Bin Laden to North Korea (link). Almost by definition, this means that Sater has also been giving the FBI and Robert Mueller real-time updates about every interaction he’s had with Donald Trump and the Trump Organization. In other words, Mueller has had a mole the entire time.
What’s not known is how much interaction Sater has had with the Trumps since the investigation began. Donald Trump has previously tried to distance himself from Sater during lawsuits about failed business ventures. But Trump has a consistent habit of continuing to call up his close personal advisers and asking them for advice long after they’ve ceased to officially work for him. For instance Trump still spoke regularly with Roger Stone and Paul Manafort after he “fired” them from the campaign.
All this time we’ve been wondering if Felix Sater, based on his past willingness to cooperate with federal investigations, would end up cutting a deal to rat out Donald Trump. Now it turns out Sater’s old deal with the FBI has been intact all along. All along, the Feds have known everything that Sater’s known. Of all the former advisers who have sold out Trump to Robert Mueller, this one might be the most devastating.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report