In a surprise announcement, calculated to have maximum media impact just before President Donald Trump departed for Argentina to attend the annual G-20 summit, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team accepted a guilty plea in court from former Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen.
On Nov. 29, the media was suddenly alerted that Cohen was in a New York courtroom entering a plea of guilty to perjury charges. In his plea agreement, Cohen admitted he lied in his congressional testimony under oath when asked about details surrounding the proposed construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow. Specifically, Cohen admitted he misled Congress on the duration of the proposed deal and how much Trump himself was involved in it.
As evidence of Cohen’s perjury, Mueller submitted a series of emails between Cohen and Felix Sater, in which the two men discuss a real estate deal that never came to fruition. However, in the course of discussing the deal, a discussion that began in 2015, Sater began making overtures to Cohen once Trump announced his presidential run.
Sater boasted of deep connections to Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials, which he said he could leverage to help the Trump campaign win the 2016 election.
The New York Times broke the story of the Cohen/Sater emails more than a year ago, with a story, titled “Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected,’” on Aug. 28, 2017.
The Times story included a screenshot of an email that Sater sent to Cohen on Nov. 3, 2015, in which Sater said: “Michael I arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins [sic] private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin. I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this.”
After much of the mainstream media spent all of Nov. 29 crowing about the supposed “smoking gun” of Cohen’s perjury plea and the renewed interest in his email exchange with Sater, by the afternoon of Nov. 30, CNN’s Jake Tapper was one of the first to begin carefully examining the actual evidence and asking hard questions.
In an interview on “The Lead,” Tapper surprised Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) by asking where the evidence of Russian collusion is.
Here’s what actually transpired in that courtroom, stripped of all the Democratic National Committee (DNC) media complex spin: Cohen admitted to Mueller he didn’t tell the truth in his congressional testimony about how long the deal was discussed and how much Trump knew about it and … that’s it.
As Tapper notes, this is a mere perjury charge. No evidence has been found that proves that: 1. any deal was struck to actually provide Russian government support/aid to the Trump campaign, or 2. that any Russian activity influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.
All that’s been revealed is that a long-known FBI informant, while talking to Cohen about a Trump Tower in Moscow deal that never reached the actionable stage, also made an offer of Russian help for the Trump campaign. So the question immediately becomes: Was any action ever taken in response to this offer?
Or, like the Trump Tower in Moscow deal, did Sater’s offer of Russian help go nowhere? Where’s the evidence that any real collusion action by Russian government officials to aid the Trump campaign ever actually occurred?
This is what Tapper is asking in the aforementioned interview, and you can see that Nadler is caught flat-footed, stuttering and stumbling trying to answer the question.
We’re a year and a half into the Mueller special counsel investigation. He’s charged numerous people with process perjury and one person with bank/tax fraud and illegal lobbying.
Mueller still hasn’t charged any American with engaging in criminal activity for acting with Russians to influence the 2016 election. DNC media hacks, disguised as “impartial mainstream media reporters,” can try to spin that all they want, but it’s not the smoking gun they keep claiming it is.
The dying DNC media complex’s narrative is that all these people reaching out to Trump campaign personnel with offers of help from the Russian government were genuine: 1. Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin at a Trump Tower meeting; 2. Prof. Joseph Mifsud in London; and now, 3. Felix Sater.
In fact, none of these people were working for the Russian government or acting on behalf of Russian government officials. Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin were operatives working for Fusion GPS when they sought to entrap Donald Trump Jr. at that July 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. They got into the room with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner under false pretenses by claiming to have information damaging to Hillary Clinton, but they were lying about that. They didn’t have what they claimed they had, and no information changed hands.
It’s been established that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS met with Veselnitskaya both just before and then immediately after the Trump Tower meeting.
Mifsud is likely an FBI informant, and as Sater himself said in an interview on MSNBC with Chris Hayes, he has had a long and productive relationship with the FBI as an operative.
During their Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation, seeking to entrap the Trump campaign accepting Russian help in the election, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged text messages about the FBI’s use of oconus lures—informants sent to make fake overtures to designated targets.
The mainstream media wants to keep pretending that didn’t happen, that the FBI wasn’t sending operatives to Trump campaign personnel making bogus offers. It wants to keep pretending each offer of Russian aid was 100 percent genuine and was being made by real Russian agents.
But Crossfire Hurricane did happen. And there was more than one of these oconus lures being prepped and sent to the Trump campaign to make these fake offers of Russian government officials all eager to help Trump win the election.
And as the intrepid John Solomon of The Hill revealed in his latest explosive report, Congress has been digging into payments made to these FBI informants who were being sent to try to entrap people.
Solomon writes: “At least two important bodies in Congress—the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees—demanded to be secretly briefed on payments to ‘undercovers.’ They’ve been pretty tight-lipped since, except to express concerns that the public would be alarmed by what was divulged.”
So no matter what the mainstream media pontificates, dismissing it as a wild, over-the-top conspiracy theory, it’s a completely legitimate question to ask if Sater was one of the oconus lures sent to the Trump campaign to make one of these fake Russian offers.
And it must be hammered home: Fake offers or genuine offers, there’s still no evidence that Cohen or any Trump campaign person ever accepted such an offer and that any kind of action was ever taken by the Russian government on behalf of the Trump campaign. Or that any such hypothetical action influenced Trump’s 2016 election victory.
Brian Cates is a political pundit and writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.