July 8, 2019 / 11:13 PM / 10 days ago

Trump associate Sater to testify before House panel Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian-born real estate developer Felix Sater, who worked on a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, said he would testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

The panel issued a subpoena for Sater last month after he failed to appear for a closed-door interview with the committee, blaming an unexpected illness that caused him to sleep through his wake-up alarm.

“I always have and always will cooperate with anything my country and my government asks of me,” Sater said in a statement to Reuters on Monday.

Sater said he was scheduled to appear before the House committee at 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) on Tuesday. News of his closed-door testimony was reported earlier by Politico.

A spokesman for the committee declined to comment.

Numerous current and former associates of President Donald Trump have refused to cooperate with Democratic-led congressional probes of the Republican president and his business interests.

New York-based Sater, whose links to Trump were examined in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, worked with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on a plan to build a Trump-branded skyscraper in Moscow while Trump was a presidential candidate.

The House Intelligence Committee wants to talk to Sater about his work on the project, which came under renewed scrutiny after Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about when negotiations on the deal ended in order to minimize Trump’s links to Russia.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham in Washington and Nathan Layne in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney

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