About The Researcher
J. M. Lewis
Why Felix Sater?
Looking back on it, it’s unclear when Felix Sater actually captured my interest. I love spy and mystery fiction and would prefer to watch most James Bond movies (older and current), John Wick, or the Die Hard movies (you get the idea) over any chick flick. So this likely was my initial motivation - it felt like unearthing a real life spy story and I was intrigued.
What stands out the most is the Buzzfeed News article by Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier in March of 2018 when I recall thinking “who the F is this guy?” There was also the revelation “he has built relationships with at least six members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, some going back more than 10 years” in that article that also raised my eyebrow.
So wait - you’re telling us the man the news media continued to inform the public was a stock fraud scam artist and a margarita-glass wielding, face-slashing American-Russian mobster/gangster, whose company Bayrock partnered with the Trump Organization on three or four real estate deals and is allegedly wrapped up in the Mueller investigation as a so-called suspect of colluding with Russians to get Trump elected, actually cooperated with the FBI and other multiple intelligence agencies of the United States since 1997 and has known at least six members of Mueller’s team, “some going back more than 10 years?”
Oh, alrighty then.
His life story seemed to be in ways a real life version of a book you’d read or movie you’d watch. Turning over Bin Laden phone numbers? Hunting down Stinger missiles so they didn’t fall into the hands of our enemies? Working with U.S. intelligence agencies until at least 2017 and the FBI until at least 2009? Weren’t we told time and time again this guy was basically a Russian mobster? Are these things most "Russian mobsters" do? What’s actually going on here?
My curiosity was piqued enough to begin spending hours upon hours reading articles almost every evening trying to parse out facts versus speculations and opinions. I’d find myself skimming through court transcripts of old Bayrock lawsuits and correspondence. As one of those strange individuals who actually enjoy various puzzles, it feels like an ever-expanding puzzle seemingly impossible for someone to get their arms around. Patrick Byrne’s Deep Capture series regarding the Milken network naming Sater was absorbed with open-minded skepticism. Hundreds of articles have been read. Written notes taken and questions being asked which only provoked more questions. Hundreds of pages of notes and information compiled since 2018 will be added to this website often.
It became clear only weeks following the Buzzfeed news article the mainstream media was, at the very least, ignoring many interesting angles and areas they could/should have been digging into and reporting on Felix Sater’s life. At the very least, the Bin Laden and Al Qaeda angle. Yet they weren’t for unknown reasons.
Yes, it is highly likely he wouldn’t be able to comment on anything Bayrock-related or why he was an informant/asset for the FBI during those same years working there and doing partnerships between that company and the Trump Organization as the government kept his files sealed. However, there were still numerous other follow-up questions from this particular article journalists could have sunk their teeth into, but it simply wasn’t happening. My frustration was growing in spades, and this very frustration and annoyance is the main driver behind this website today.
While is it likely Felix Sater at some point in the future will come out with a book, in the meantime I hope this website will end up being enlightening and thought-provoking to anyone who stumbles upon it.
Odd 2019 Events
In July of 2019, Felix Sater provided private testimony to the House Intelligence Committee and three odd things occurred before, during, and after this testimony.
In June Politico reported Sater would be testifying before the Committee. These could only be for his three known reasons/connections to the entire saga: 1) the failed talks/steps taken toward the Trump Tower Moscow (TTM) real estate deal, 2) involvement with turning over Ukrainian peace plan to Michael Cohen, or 3) his work with Bayrock who partnered with Trump Organization on licensing the Trump brand for Bayrock real estate projects.
The article stated, “Lawmakers had initially said the interview — which is expected to focus on the negotiations surrounding the failed Moscow real estate project — would be public. But the panel decided to make it private because the subjects are extremely sensitive and concern national security issues, including Sater’s previous work as an undercover asset for the Defense Intelligence Agency on Russia issues, said a person familiar with the matter." The chairman of this committee, keep in mind, is Congressman Adam Schiff.
Unbelievably, there are no follow-up articles after this revelation by Politico to even begin to answer questions like what does Sater being an undercover asset for the DIA have to do with TTM, or the Mueller investigation in general? Why would a potential real estate deal in Russia involve matters of national security? Did something change between stating the testimony would be public as Cohen’s had been, and the later decision to make it private?
When there is a lunch break during Felix’s testimony, he exits with his lawyer and speaks to reporters for a couple of minutes - video in link. (Kudos to @avery1776 on twitter for the capture.) During this exchange, he accuses Glenn Simpson of committing perjury against him. This revelation merited no follow-up questions or articles regarding further clarification of what Sater meant, or if Glenn Simpson had any statement to make in response.
Sater’s 5K1 letter from 2009 is finally released towards the end of August and reveals many incredible facts regarding his assistance to the US government between 1999-2009. Because this was the document given to the judge when he finally faced sentencing for his role in the stock pump-and-dump scheme which occurred between 1993-1996, it only details this decade and there are no details from 2009 on. We only know per the Buzzfeed The Asset article, he continued to assist US government agencies “until at least late 2017.”
This unsealed 5K1 document along with Leslie Caldwell’s sentencing memorandum revealed Sater’s intelligence “included, but was not limited to”:
the internal structuring and the financial capabilities of Al Qaeda
the whereabouts of Taliban leader Mullah Omar; turning him into an asset for the U.S. government
ground reports on who was killed by United States air-strikes
Details of an assassination plot against President Bush or VP Dick Cheney, and a separate assassination plot on Colin Powell during a planned trip to Afghanistan
Intelligence assisting in indicting Phillip Abramo, the ‘King of Wall Street’
Intel on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities
Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts following September 11, 2001, including secret meetings he was going to attend
Names of Al Qaeda members including names and locations of those handling his security, as well their weapons supply
Intelligence regarding Sudanese banks where Bin Laden was holding his cash reserves
Assisting with two international money laundering investigations
Going undercover for FBI posing as a money launderer to track a cybercriminal hacking ring
While it could be due to Felix Sater perhaps refusing to take any more interviews, there is no evidence this is the case. There are no further mainstream media articles regarding him in the following several months asking follow-up questions on these new revelations and/or looking back in context at when these events took place. There is no clear reason why as soon as the narrative of Felix being a margarita-glass-slashing-convicted-felon moved to these other areas, their interest in him quickly died. One could speculate it is due to the fact drawing further attention to these details put a serious dent in the Trump-Russia collusion allegations which still perpetuate today. After all, Felix was one of the first “Russia contacts” Trump was smeared with repeatedly in hundreds, if not thousands of negative media articles.
As a registered Independent voter who doesn’t consider themself a Republican or a Democrat or hold any true feeling of allegiance to either party, there will be no apparent political agenda or spin within this collection of research. You will rarely read a stated opinion, but any speculation or personal opinions will be called out. The majority of this research is only a compilation of facts, court records and transcripts, and collections of various quotes. Outstanding questions and comments will be noted throughout, as well as any inconsistencies in Sater's overall timeline.
This is mainly a serious and objective look at a very interesting individual because the mainstream media cannot or will not, and the aim is to provide a lot more details and facts to the ongoing debate of Felix Sater and his rather interesting life.
My hope is each person who takes the time to read parts or all of this research will learn new facts about his life in some way. If you appreciate my work and/or have a question, please feel free to tag me on Twitter and ask!
Important: This website is a continual work-in-progress, revised and added to often. Come back often to see what's been added!
P.S. While I'm hesitant to include many personal details here, I will say I love being a wife and mother. My favorite hobbies are reading and taking long hikes, and I enjoy being silly with my kiddo while he still finds me occasionally funny. I am also known for never being able to turn down chocolate. :)