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Oligarch Kenes Rakishev Named In New Trump Election Interference Case

— May 26, 2022

Sater claims that the campaign against himself and Trump was coordinated by Kenes Rakishev and Karim Massimov, who was arrested for treason by the Kazakh authorities in January.

Kenes Rakishev, one of Kazakhstan’s highest-profile businessmen, has been named in an explosive new legal case that alleges foreign interference in the 2016 US Presidential election.

Rakishev is accused of acting as a “henchman” and “wallet” for Kazakhstan’s former prime minister Karim Massimov in a plot to undermine Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

The allegations are contained in a complaint brought by Felix Sater, a former senior advisor to President Trump and a financier who helped bankroll the Trump Soho tower.

Sater is suing BTA Bank, which is owned by Rakishev, the City of Almaty in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Government and a private investigation firm called Arcanum.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York federal court, Sater was hired by the defendants to help recover billions of dollars stolen from BTA Bank by its previous owner Mukhtar Ablyazov.

However, Sater alleges that this arrangement was merely a cover to hide the Kazakhs’ true intent, which was to dig dirt on Sater and then use it to harm Trump’s election bid.

The lawsuit states: “Arcanum and the Kazakh Parties, under the guise of working together with Sater pursuant to a confidential assistance agreement signed in June 2015 for Sater to help recover assets belonging to fugitive Kazakh oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates, conspired to leak false and defamatory information about Sater to media outlets including ABC News. This was part of a concerted effort to falsely (and absurdly) portray Sater, a longtime business partner of Donald Trump, as a Russian agent and Kremlin stooge.”

Sater was a key witness in Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A leaked 2015 email written by Sater implied that he would arrange for Vladimir Putin to help Trump’s election bid as part of a scheme to build a Trump tower in Moscow.

Trump Tower, in New York City
Trump Tower, in New York City; image courtesy of Martin Dürrschnabel via Wikimedia Commons,

Sater claims that rather than being a stooge for the Kremlin, his work for US intelligence and law enforcement agencies meant that the Russians wanted to execute him for treason.

The lawsuit states: “Felix Sater is a legendary figure in the U.S. Intelligence Community. He is known for risking his life conducting espionage operations against North Korea, Taliban- controlled Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Russia and Russian hacking networks, including operations he executed on the ground in Russia and Afghanistan.”

Sater claims that the campaign against himself and Trump was coordinated by Kenes Rakishev and Karim Massimov, who was arrested for treason by the Kazakh authorities in January.

“Massimov and Rakishev were actively seeking influence with American politicians,” the lawsuit states. “In 2016, they believed that they would be rewarded for helping the Hillary Clinton campaign (who was considered certain to win the election) by smearing Sater and Trump. Massimov and Rakishev’s efforts to curry favor with prominent American politicians included lavishing money on Hunter Biden, who called Rakishev a ‘close friend’.” 

According to a US Senate investigation, Rakishev paid $142,300 to a company run by a close friend of Hunter Biden. Rakishev also invested in deals introduced by Biden.

The lawsuit states: “Rakishev is reputed to have raped underage girls in Russia and organized “no holds barred” fighting contests involving eight-year-old children. The Russian authorities refused to investigate these crimes because Rakishev was under Massimov’s protection and also because Rakishev’s father-in-law (Imangali Tasmagambetov), Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Russia, intervened to stop the investigation.”

Rakishev has also been linked to figures involved in a January uprising in Kazakhstan and is reportedly close friends with Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechnya who has been accused of human rights abuses.

Sater has brought his lawsuit as a counterclaim to a 2019 complaint filed by BTA Bank and the Kazakh authorities. That claim alleges that Sater stole money from BTA.

Matthew Schwartz, a partner at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner and counsel for BTA Bank and the City of Almaty, said: “Felix Sater’s filing is nothing more than conspiracy theories and desperation dressed up like a lawsuit. We are confident that the court will see through his tactics.”

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