Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump's Past Is a Threat

“Clearly, if this matter between Mr. Sater and Mr. Arif escalates to public litigation, the media spotlight will be negatively cast on Mr. Arif and his past relationship with President Trump and the Republic of Kazakhstan,” wrote Mr. Sater’s attorney, Robert Wolf, in a Feb. 1 letter to a businessman, Robert Armao.


Mr. Sater himself has a checkered past. During Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, media reports, including in the Journal, highlighted his involvement in a racketeering scheme, in which Mr. Sater and others artificially pumped up the value of stocks while working with alleged mob associates, as well as an earlier assault conviction.

Mr. Sater, who pleaded guilty in the stock scheme in the late 1990s, said he atoned by cooperating with the Justice Department in the case and helping the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies in later investigations. The CIA declined to comment.

Mr. Arif was arrested by Turkish prosecutors in 2010 in an alleged prostitution ring and charged with setting up a criminal gang, organizing prostitution and people trafficking, according to local and international media accounts. He denied the allegations and was acquitted, according to the accounts.

Mr. Trump hired Mr. Sater as an unpaid consultant at the Trump Organization in 2010. Separately, in 2015, Mr. Sater said he tried to arrange a licensing deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow. Nothing was signed, said Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel.

Earlier this year, Mr. Sater worked with Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, to try to get a Ukrainian parliament member’s proposal for peace with Russia to the White House. The proposal doesn’t appear to have reached Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump last year told the Journal he didn’t know Mr. Sater well but for a time let him pitch deals as a consultant, none of which he liked. Mr. Trump said in a 2010 deposition in a civil suit that he had met Mr. Arif “a couple of times.”

Just how do you "hire" an "unpaid" consultant? That you don't know well.

By the way, that's Trump, Arif and Sater "at a 2007 launch party for the Trump SoHo condo hotel in New York" in that picture.

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