Mikhail Fridman cashed out of his Russian oil venture near the top of the market and moved to London to build an empire in calmer climes. Then Brexit struck, reinforcing his determination to keep heading west.
With Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and sanctions over Ukraine muddying the investment waters from Moscow to Glasgow, Fridman and his three fellow Alfa Group billionaires are looking across the Atlantic and see a clear stream of profit in ever-higher spending on health care. With two Washington insiders in tow to help navigate the terrain, the Russians are preparing to invest as much as $3 billion in the industry over three years, starting in the U.S., where it accounts for almost a fifth of the economy.
“There are signals of a major tectonic shift in economic development happening before our eyes,” Fridman said in an interview in London.
Donald Trump keeps saying that he has nothing to do with the Russians. Most recently, he made this claim in his White House press conference last week: “I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” He said it at a press conference in early January, too.
Whether Trump is being too clever by half or simply lying is something that reporters, the Intelligence Community, Congress, and maybe the Treasury Department need to figure out. What’s clear for now, though, is that Trump has plenty of connections to Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
Hopefully, you’ve already seen the New York Timespiece from this weekend detailing how Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen took a dossier to Michael Flynn that had been provided to him by a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician named Andrii V. Artemenko and a Russian mob-connected former employee of the Trump Organization named Felix Sater.
The dossier reportedly contained damaging information about the anti-Russian Ukrainian president, Petro O. Poroshenko, that the Trump administration could conceivably use to oust him. It also contained some kind of Russian-Ukrainian “peace plan” that would facilitate the lifting of sanctions on Russia.
What people are focusing on, quite justifiably, is the involvement of this Felix Sater character. I could write a whole, very long piece dedicated to nothing more than how obviously crazy it is for a personal lawyer to Donald Trump to meet with Sater, let alone carry his information personally to Trump’s national security adviser. Hopefully, however, you can find that argument made elsewhere.
A Russian mobster named Felix Sater told the Moscow media that he met with Trump’s campaign before the election, and revealed intimate details about his relationship with the man who Donald Trump swears he doesn’t know.
Felix Sater’s admitted contact with the Trump campaign during the election culminated in an incident where he carried an abortive secret “peace plan” between Russia and the United States over Ukraine that dovetailed with Donald Trump Jr.’s paid trip to speak a Putin-supported, Paris “peace conference” with a Syrian group.
After a lengthy IRS investigation beginning just after Sater meet Trump, the casino formerly named Trump’s Taj Mahal got slapped with a massive fine from the US Treasury’s criminal investigative division FinCEN.
New details from the Senate’s Trump Russia investigation in the last 48 hours since FBI Director James Comey was fired, confirm the importance of the time period when secretly convicted felon Felix Sater worked for Donald J. Trump, and the new Russian interview reveals that he openly moonlighted in the Trump Organization as US secret agent for the FBI and CIA, after he was convicted racketeering with the New York mafia in 1998 — which took a Supreme Court ruling to reveal.
Donald Trump hired the convicted felon, Russian emigre as his Senior Advisor during the decade-long period of time from 1998–2008 which saw him transform from bankrupt developer, to reality TV star with the aid of Producer Mark Burnett, who also did business with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The New York Times profiled Felix Sater in-depth 10-years ago solely because of his special relationship to the man who played a real estate developer on reality TV, who now resides in the White House.
A massive body of evidence points to a special relationship between Felix Sater, Donald Trump — and the federal government, who could have apparently allowed the pair to use Trump casinos to turn over “bad guys” to law enforcement, and which implies that he had the ability to shelter his associates from criminal charges for criminal acts; specifically for money laundering at the Trump casino empire.
It was a casino empire in New Jersey without any form of anti-money laundering controls, for two decades.
Not only does Sater tell the story of meeting Donald Trump in that interview on snob.ru, and talk about his ten years of regular contact with him — sometimes as much as twice a day — but he confirms two very important details about his relationship with our Russophile President.
First, Felix Sater claims that Trump knew about his “secret agent” activities with the FBI and CIA.
Former Trump campaign advisor James Woolsey is on the board of AFIO, which is a mainstream organization for America’s former intelligence officers.
Former President George Bush is also a member.
Secondly, Sater claimed to have regular contact with the Trump campaign last year.
We now know that Sater and Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen were caught by the New York Times with Sater, who was attempting to run a private diplomatic mission in Ukraine — an action discussed in the Christopher Steele intelligence dossier .
The apparent plan to drop sanctions against Russia failed.
The federal government lost in the Supreme Court, leading to what the Miami Herald’s Michael Sallah called dozens of explosive documents.
The court revealed that Felix Sater was nabbed by the feds for his involvement in a New York Cosa Nostra stock scheme in 1998 and had his arm twisted to begin working for both the FBI and CIA.
One person who certainly knew about these activities was former Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who described (p. 142) the convicted felon Sater’s government activities thusly in sworn testimony to the US Senate at the request of Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, over his concerns about sealed convictions that allowed criminals to roam the streets, without informing Americans that they might be dealing with a confidential informant that could rob them with immunity from criminal prosecution:
The defendant in question, Felix Sater, provided valuable and sensitive information to the government during the course of his cooperation, which began in or about December 1998. For more than 10 years, he worked with prosecutors from my Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, providing information crucial to national security and the conviction of over 20 individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud and members of La Cosa Nostra.
For that reason, his case was initially sealed.
Forbes Media recently filed an action in federal court seeking to unseal the remaining records from Felix Sater’s secret criminal conviction, which contains a treasure trove of compiled research on Trump’s former advisor, and included a report by freelance investigative journalist Bill Conroy about the implications of cooperation with the FBI and intelligence agencies. (This paragraph was added the day after publication of this report.)