- Felix Sater, a real estate developer with past ties to the Trump Organization, alleged Tuesday that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson committed perjury during Senate testimony
- Sater made the allegation following testimony before the House Intelligence Committee
- Sater pointed out that Simpson, who commissioned the anti-Trump dossier, also worked with Natalia Veselnistakaya, the Russian lawyer who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting
A witness who appeared before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday accused the founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier, of committing perjury during a Senate interview back in 2017.
Felix Sater, a real estate developer who has worked with the Trump Organization, discussed the Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson, while taking a break from a closed-door interview with the House panel.
Democrats sought an interview with Sater to discuss whether the Kremlin could have any leverage over President Trump due to his business dealings in Russia. Sater worked closely with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen from October 2015 through June 2016 on a failed bid to build a Trump-themed skyscraper in Moscow.
Sater told reporters during his break that the interview covered little in the way of new information about his links to Trumpworld that have not already trickled out in the press, or in the special counsel’s report.
But he added: “We did cover a new topic.”
Asked what the topic was, Sater said, “Glenn Simpson perjuring himself at the Judiciary Committee on two occasions.”
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— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2019
When asked what topic Simpson might have perjured himself on, Sater replied: “Me, specifically, and the fact that that’s what motivated him to start investigating, when it was actually the fact that he was working for Veselnitskaya, if anybody knows that.”
Sater was referring to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who attended an infamous June 9, 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. Veselnitskaya was also working at the time with Simpson on behalf of a Russian company called Prevezon Holdings, which opposed U.S. sanctions against Russia.
“That’s the closest to Russia you’re going to get, is Glenn Simpson,” said Sater, who has worked for decades as an informant for U.S. government agencies, including the CIA and FBI.
Simpson’s work for Veselnitskaya has largely been ignored in the two-plus years of reporting on Russiagate. At the same time that Simpson was working for Russian interests, he was also working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. The result of that project was the infamous Steele dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Simpson and Veselnitskaya met on the morning of the Russian lawyer’s meeting at Trump Tower.
Sater did not expand on why he thinks Simpson perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In his Aug. 22, 2017 testimony to the committee, Simpson alleged that Sater was connected to Russian organized crime figures, including the family who controls Prevezon.
“As it happens, Felix Sater was, you know, connected to the same Russian crime family that was at issue in the Prevezon case,” Simpson, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, told the Senate panel.
Fusion GPS did not respond to a request for comment on Sater’s allegations.
Congressional Republicans have accused Simpson of lying during another congressional interview, this time about his contacts with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 14, 2017 that he had no contact with the FBI or Justice Department about his investigation of Trump prior to the 2016 election. But Ohr testified on Aug. 28, 2018 that he and Simpson met in August 2016 to discuss Fusion’s investigation of Trump. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS at the time.
CNN reporter Manu Raju, who led most of the questioning at Tuesday’s stakeout, seemed disinterested in Sater’s remarks about Simpson. He turned back to Sater’s relationship with Cohen and Trump. But Sater told Raju that he did not know what Trump knew about the negotiations to build Trump Tower.
Cohen pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation to lying to Congress in 2017 when he claimed that he worked on the failed effort to build Trump Tower in Moscow only through January 2016. Cohen later admitted that he discussed the project through June 2016, and spoke with Trump about it as many as 10 times.
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