Susan Simpson is on FIRE over on the Twitter Machine! Here's her very revealing Tweetstorm on Felix Sater, which was followed up by a number of clarifications and elaborations, but you'll have to check out her Twitter Feed to dig those out. One thing's for sure, though... shit's getting serious in a big fat hurry. - YOPJ
The Felix Sater saga is so complex that I don't know where to begin, but here's some background info that may come in handy soon.
Sater's backstory: immigrated to US from USSR, worked on Wall Street, stabbed someone in the face with a broken-off stem of a martini glass,
lost his job because as a felon he couldn't work on Wall Street, went back to the mob, and engaged in penny stock scams for a few years.
He then fled to Russia for undisclosed reasons, but due to a failure to properly dispose of a yacht, his guns and docs were found by FBI.
The FBI found Sater "working for a telecom" in Russia. And for some reason, the nature of that work must always be redacted. Hmmm, how odd.
Sater became a cooperator. A good one. His services went "above & beyond the call of duty." That included being a 'traditional' cooperator,
but also seems to have included some distinctly 'untraditional' cooperation, allegedly with serious national security implications.
Sater was an informant for 10 years, and helped, inter alia, NY FBI bust all kinds of baddies. But he also resumed his business activities.
Including becoming a partner of the notorious Bayrock Group. Sater's activities at Bayrock were…. complex, to say the least.
During this time, Bayrock and Sater also did extensive deals with the Trump Org. Note: Trump claims he's not sure he knows who Sater is.
Which is strange, given how Sater was flying to Russia on Trump's behalf like every other week.
Sater pled guilty in 1998 and in 2009 he was finally sentenced. The DOJ sung his praises; the judge gave him no prison time, no restitution.
John "Felix Sater" Doe's conviction was sealed. Lots of litigation ensued, etc., owing to the fact Sater had stolen a butt-load of money.
Fast forward to recent days. The Steele Dossier is released. It says interesting things, for example, about a Russian émigré close to Trump:
Interesting things that sound a *lot* like Sater. His mob connections and hawking of Trump condo means he had exactly the info Putin wanted.
Then today NYT drops a story: Trump was presented with plan to lift Russian sanctions by leaking damaging intel on the Ukrainian president.
Through a mysterious "mutual friend," Sater is hooked up with a guy that can give him this kompromat, with instructions to pass on to Trump.
Who has spent two years hacking Ukrainian politicians? Who wants Russian sanctions removed? Reader, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
But someone is using a mobster/former CIA asset/Trump associate to provide Trump with damaging info he can use against a rival politician.
The rival politician in this case is a foreign one, from a state Russia wants to break apart. But there are certain domestic parallels.
And all of this covers maybe a 1/10th of how wild the Felix Sater story truly is. We live in interesting times. /end
For those of you who prefer your information presented in a more, shall we say, narrative fashion, Josh Marshall's superlative overview of what is currently known about Sater, as well as his links to American intelligence agencies, the Russian criminal underworld, and a variety of business swindles with intimate links to the Trump organization is a must read.
For an indication of how this is all going to turn out for Trump and his administration, we have to follow the trail of crumbs up to the point where it turns into a trail of ankle-deep pools of Russian operatives' blood.
Allow me to explain.
With every passing day, yer old pal Jerky can't help but be reminded of something that happened in his own adoptive city of Toronto, Canada, just a few short years ago... a series of events that could be seen as a preview in miniature of what the United States is going through today.
I refer, of course, to the many scandals of Mayor Robert Ford.
In these times of supremely heightened tensions, of "alternative facts", and a great world power's rapid slide into the twin catastrophes of unchecked demagoguery and narcissistic score-settling, it's easy to forget that Canada's most populous city had to endure the rise and rule of its own pig-eyed populist incompetent, to the great delight of its own basket of under-contributing sub-and-ex-urban deplorables, in the not so distant past.
The constant bizarre public behavior, the ranting and raving, the non-stop lies about the city's finances, the constant bragging about his non-existent achievements, the petulant whining about the media being out to get him, and then, the purported existence of an incriminating video... are you starting to feel it yet? That tingle of deja vu?
Looking back on it now, one could easily get the impression that it was all giggles and schadenfreude, the stuff of late night TV jokes and juvenile alternative weekly tabloid covers. What people seem to have forgotten is that mayor Ford's scandals had a body count, with one of the three men photographed with him in this infamous image ending up dead. Another was shot, and both survivors ended up in jail. Another person allegedly involved with the sale of the video to Gawker ended up barely surviving a still unexplained five story fall from an Edmonton apartment building window.
Back to the present day, in the USofA, it already appears as though the similarly infamous Steele Dossier (and the "golden shower party" video discussed therein) has already cost the lives of seven Russian operatives.
If we're scaling the Trump scandals up from the Ford scandals using relative populations and political power levels... I'd say upwards of a few hundred thousand more will have to die before this all ends with a pale and groggy Trump giving a double thumbs up from a hospital bed, wearing a smock and a shower cap, before the world can finally breath a sorrow-filled sigh of post-apocalyptic relief.
In his work The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Karl Marx first intoned that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Although finding documentary evidence is difficult, Mark Twain is reputed to have disagreed, arguing that history doesn't repeat, but that often, "it rhymes."
In any case, we obviously pissed off some Chinese people somewhere along the way, because friends, we are living in some damned interesting times.