Two men who have acted as a bridge between Donald Trump and Russia have popped back into the news as the authors of a ‘peace plan’ between Russia and Ukraine—a peace plan that rewards Russia for attacking Ukraine and lifts U.S. sanctions that keep Vladimir Putin in check.
A month before the election, the dots connecting the Russian mob to Donald Trump all seemed to come with one name attached: Bayrock.
The Republican presidential nominee and Bayrock were both based in Trump Tower… Their best-known collaboration — Trump SoHo, a 46-storey hotel-condominium completed in 2010 — was featured in Mr Trump’s NBC television show The Apprentice.
Bayrock was created primarily as a means for oligarchs in Russia and former Soviet territories to get their money out of the country.
“Tax evasion and money-laundering are the core of Bayrock’s business model,” the lawsuit said of the financiers behind Trump Soho.
The man acting as the bridge between Bayrock and Trump is named Felix Sater.
Sater, a businessman formerly linked with the Mafia who has boasted of his "relationship with Trump," told the Washington Post last May that he "handled all of the negotiations" for the Trump Organization's dealings in Russia in the mid-2000's.
That would be all those dealings Trump says don’t exist, and which Donald Trump Jr. said were “a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Now Felix Sater’s name is back in the news in a big way, and it’s not good news for Trump.
I don't know how much attention it's received. But the appearance of the name of Felix Sater in this new article in the Times is one of the biggest shoes I've seen drop on the Trump story in some time.
The issue isn’t a minor business deal. It’s a huge diplomatic deal.
The new story explains that a group of Trump operatives, including top lawyer Michael Cohen and fired former campaign manager Paul Manafort, along with a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian named Andrii V. Artemenko and Mr. Sater are pushing President Trump on a 'peace plan' for Russia and Ukraine.
Assembled for the purpose of forming this plan are Manafort, who was Moscow’s man in Ukraine. Paul Manafort went to Ukraine expressly for the purpose of putting a puppet ruler at the head of the Ukraine government—and succeeded. Artemenko is a Ukrainian politician of the party that resulted from Manafort efforts to support a pro-Russia movement in Ukraine. Sater is the architect of businesses allowing Russian oligarchs to build overseas investments.
What kind of ‘peace plan’ did they develop and drop on Michael Flynn’s desk shortly before Flynn drew too much attention to himself through his frequent chats with the Russian ambassador?
President Trump’s personal lawyer and a former business associate met privately in New York City last month with a member of the Ukrainian parliament to discuss a peace plan for that country that could give Russia long-term control over territory it seized in 2014 and lead to the lifting of sanctions against Moscow.
Russia gets to keep the territory it seized illegally. And it gets the sanctions lifted that allow it to execute the $500 billion deal dropped on Putin’s desk by Trump’s new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
That’s quite a plan.
Cohen is denying / not denying the ‘peace plan.’
“I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place, but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn,” Cohen said. He said he told the Ukrainian official that he could send the proposal to Flynn by writing him at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
So … Trump’s personal lawyer didn’t hand deliver the documents. He only brokered the arrangement and gave it his blessing.
If there are any two names that Donald Trump doesn’t want sharing the news, they are Paul Manafort.
The senior Ukrainian prosecutor alleges that in 2006 Mr. Manafort orchestrated a series of Anti-Nato, Anti-Kiev protests in Crimea led by Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions—now a designated criminal organisation. The protests forced planned Nato exercises there to be cancelled.
And Felix Sater.
After the lawyers got involved, Trump said he barely knew who Sater was. But there is voluminous evidence that Sater, a Russian emigrant, was key to channeling Russian capital to Trump for years. Sater is also a multiple felon and at least a one-time FBI informant. Bayrock Capital, where he worked was located in Trump Tower and he himself worked as a special advisor to Trump.
These two are the people doing “diplomacy” in the Trump White House. Where diplomacy = giving Putin what he wants.