On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that Trump associate Felix Sater had made a lengthy trip to Moscow during the presidential campaign as part of Trump’s ongoing effort to secure a real estate deal in Russia. But as emails from that visit emerge, it appears that Sater was after a lot more than just a building lot.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” […]

Mr. Sater, a Russian immigrant, was a broker for the Trump Organization at the time, which means he was paid to deliver real estate deals.

What does a meeting with Putin to secure the presidency for Donald Trump have to do with real estate? Nothing. Why would someone on a real estate project be talking about getting the presidency for Trump, and above all, what would make Sater declare that the way for Trump to become president was in the control of Vladimir Putin?

The New York Times reports that the recipient of Sater’s email was Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen. While Cohen is now claiming that Sater’s emails were nothing but bragging …

“He has sometimes used colorful language and has been prone to ‘salesmanship,’ ” Mr. Cohen said in a statement. “I ultimately determined that the proposal was not feasible and never agreed to make a trip to Russia.”

That didn’t stop Cohen from meeting with Sater, Paul Manafort and a pro-Russia Ukrainian politician to craft a “peace plan” that would lift Russian sanctions and give Russia permanent control of territory it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Felix Sater and Michael Cohen have been an integral part of the Trump–Russia story from the beginning. Sater not only served as the liaison between Trump and Bayrock …

“Tax evasion and money-laundering are the core of Bayrock’s business model,” the lawsuit said of the financiers behind Trump Soho.

He worked directly for Trump on numerous projects, including at least two trips in which he was sent to Moscow to negotiate on behalf of Donald Trump. That included a trip in 2007, in which Trump flew to Moscow to join Sater, and a trip in 2015-2016 during which Sater sent the emails concerning making a connection with Putin to secure the presidency for Trump.

And it wasn’t just Trump for whom Sater arranged for a friendly reception at the Kremlin.

Mr. Sater presented himself as so influential in Russia that he helped arrange a 2006 trip that Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, took to Moscow. “I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin,” he said.

Michael Cohen hired his own lawyer back in May, after acknowledging that he’d been asked to detail his own dealings with the Russian government.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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