House Intelligence panel postpones interview with Trump business associate Felix Sater

House Intelligence panel postpones interview with Trump business associate Felix Sater
© Stefani Reynolds

The House Intelligence Committee has postponed a public hearing with Trump business associate Felix Sater that was initially scheduled for next week.

A committee spokesperson blamed scheduling issues, telling The Hill that the interview will now take place later this month, on March 27, and that Sater "continues to cooperate with the committee."

The public hearing — a rarity for a committee that typically conducts its investigative work behind closed doors — is expected to focus primarily on Sater’s involvement in efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to build a Trump real estate property in Moscow.

Sater, a longtime business associate of Trump who served as managing director for the New York-based real estate firm the Bayrock Group, worked with former Trump lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCohen challenges Sekulow to testify about Trump Tower meetings George Conway contrasts Trump denying 'cover-ups' with check to Michael Cohen Avenatti indicted for allegedly defrauding Stormy Daniels MORE on the Moscow project, which never came to fruition.

The House Intelligence Committee is probing the real estate discussions as part of its sweeping investigation into Trump’s links to Russia and his financial dealings, which was announced by Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan House Intelligence enjoys breakthrough with Justice Department Schiff blasts Trump's 'un-American' order to intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe MORE (D-Calif.) last month.

After Cohen’s first round of private testimony last week, Schiff announced that the committee would publicly question Sater on March 14 as part of its investigation. However, his appearance on Capitol Hill is now further off.

“Due to scheduling issues, the Committee has moved Mr. Sater’s open interview to March 27. He continues to cooperate with the committee,” the committee spokesperson said.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about discussions within the Trump Organization to build the Trump property in Moscow, as part of a deal to cooperate with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller MORE’s Russia investigation. In particular, Cohen admitted that the talks extended as late as June 2016 — six months later than he previously told the House and Senate Intelligence panels.

Cohen has said Trump did not direct him to lie to Congress but that he did so in order to protect his former boss.

Cohen has also reportedly given documents to the House Intelligence Committee to back up his public claim that his congressional statement was changed after Trump’s personal attorneys reviewed it. Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow has vehemently denied that the president’s lawyers changed or edited the statement about the duration of the Trump Moscow discussions.