Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Donald Trump who was the chief negotiator for the defunct Trump Tower Moscow project, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The closed-door interview will cap a protracted back-and-forth between Sater and the panel, which has rescheduled his appearance several times since he was first slated to appear in March.
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Sater failed to appear for a voluntary appearance before the committee last month because he was sick and slept through his alarm, he told POLITICO at the time. Sater previously said his attorney, Robert Wolf, was already in Washington for the planned interview but the committee issued a subpoena anyway.
Wolf maintained in a statement that Sater couldn’t attend last month’s interview due to “unexpected health reasons” and said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s decision to issue a subpoena was “entirely unnecessary.”
But a committee aide pushed back at the time, saying in a statement that “neither Sater nor his attorney advised the committee of his unexpected absence until moments before the interview was set to begin, and the committee is still not aware of any health reasons for his absence.” The aide added that the panel had requested documents from Sater that he had not provided, which further justified the subpoena.
Sater says he has handed over the requested documents, including phone records.
“I always have and always will cooperate with anything my country and my government asks of me,” he told POLITICO.
Sater has testified several times in the last year about issues related to the Trump Tower Moscow project, which has been a central focus of the Democrat-led committee’s investigation into whether Trump is compromised by foreign actors.
Sater was initially scheduled to testify before the panel in public in March, but the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation prompted Schiff to postpone the interview. It was later rescheduled and moved to a private setting because the topics also deal with highly sensitive national security issues related to Sater’s prior work with the government.
A federal judge confirmed for the first time in May, for example, that Sater helped the U.S. government track down Osama bin Laden.
Sater’s informant work stems from a 1998 case in which he pleaded guilty to participating in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the mafia in New York. As a result, Sater agreed to secretly collect information for the government, which described his cooperation as “extraordinary” in national security cases that were named in open court in May.
Trump did not disclose the ongoing Trump Tower Moscow negotiations while he was running for president in 2015 and 2016, and repeatedly claimed during the campaign that he has “nothing to do with Russia.” His former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, is serving a three-year prison sentence in part for lying to the Intelligence Committee about the timing of those negotiations.