Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released the full transcript of testimony that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee -- and it contains explosive allegations that President Donald Trump has direct ties to international money laundering operations.
During his testimony, Simpson detailed ways that money had been stolen from a bank in Kazakhstan, then laundered throughout multiple countries -- before possibly being funneled in part to the Trump Soho hotel project.
At the center of the ordeal appears to be Felix Sater, a Trump-linked Russian-born businessman who in 1998 pleaded guilty to taking part in a mafia-related stock fraud scheme, and who is now cooperating with an international investigation into an alleged money laundering network.
"So there was a civil case, at least one civil case in New York involving -- filed by the city of Almaty... against some alleged Kazakh money launderers," Simpson testified. "I don't remember exactly how, but we learned that -- it wasn't from Chris. We learned that Felix Sater had some connections with these people, and it's been more recently in the media that he's helping the government of Kazakhstan to recover this money. There's been media reports that the money went into the Trump Soho or it went into the company that built the Trump Soho."
Sater’s financial relationship with Trump dates back to at least 2003, when the Trump Organization rented out office space to Sater’s former company.
Even though Trump initially tried to distance himself from Sater after news of his criminal past came to light in 2007, he subsequently tapped Sater in 2010 to scout out real estate. Additionally, Sater presented clients with business cards that claimed he was a senior adviser to Trump, and his office was on the same floor as Trump’s office in Trump Tower.
Sater wasn't the only figure with alleged ties to organized crime that Simpson found working with Trump, either. He also discussed another man involved in the Trump Soho project by the name of Arif Tevfik.
"If you search under a different transliteration of that name you can find open source reporting alleging that he's an organized crime figure from Central Asia and he had an arrest for involvement in child prostitution," Simpson said in his testimony.
Simpson did not say that Tevfik, a Turkish real estate developer, was involved in money laundering. Tevfik was arrested in a prostitution sting in 2010, but he was later acquitted of all charges.
(Note: This article has been updated to clarify that Arif Tevfik was not accused of money laundering and was acquitted of prostitution charges.)