Even as Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has evolved to the stage where Trump’s own people are being arrested and cutting deals, and it becomes more unlikely that Trump will finish his term, he’s still running a sham of a 2020 reelection campaign. He’s already been caught using the money fundraised for his “reelection” to pay his son’s legal bills in the Russia scandal. Now a convicted Russian mafia figure has been busted by the Feds for making excessive and illegal donations to Trump’s reeelction fund, raising the question of whether the reelection campaign may be a front for Russia to funnel money to Trump.
Felix Sater has already been convicted for laundering money in relation to the Russian mafia. He was also the point person for multiple Trump Organization real estate deals, including the sketchy Trump Soho project. Now the Federal Election Commission has caught Sater making what it calls “excessive” donations to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign (source: FEC document). The Sater donations only amount to a few thousand dollars, but are still well above the legally allowable threshold, making them suspicious in nature. Moreover, that same FEC document sites forty pages worth of illegal donations from various other sources, totaling well into the six figures. Although this is illegal, the FEC only has the power to punish the Trump campaign financially. However, this may have just opened up an entire new vein of investigation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is reportedly already investigating the Trump Soho deal.
The essential question is why Felix Sater would be making excessive donations to the Donald Trump campaign. If Trump is afraid that Sater might flip on him in the Russia scandal, one would think that Trump might be trying to buy off Sater, and not the other way around. Mueller will likely investigate to try to determine whether or not these donations from Sater to Trump are connected to the Russian mafia or the Russian government.
To be clear, there is no publicly available evidence to suggest that Felix Sater was a participant in the Trump-Russia election rigging scandal. His convicted Russian mafia crimes are in the past, as are his known financial dealings with Donald Trump. But now that Sater is clearly trying to get money to Trump in what the FEC says is “excessive” fashion, it raises new questions.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report