Donald Trump & # 39; then urged State Secretary Rex Tillerson to interfere in the DOJ case against the Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani & # 39; in 2017
- The new report lists three sources that are familiar with the 2017 Oval Office meeting
- Claims that Trump has put pressure on Tillerson to interfere with the Prosecutor's probe
- Gold trader Reza Zarrab was accused of evading sanctions against Iran
- Zarrab was a customer of Trump & # 39; s ally and campaign surrogate Rudolph Giuliani
- Tillerson refused the request and Zarrab later pleaded guilty
President Donald Trump put pressure on State Secretary Rex Tillerson at the time in 2017 to get involved in prosecuting the Ministry of Justice of an international gold trader who was a client of Rudolph Giuliani, according to a new report.
Tillerson flatly refused Trump's request to convince the DOJ to drop a criminal case Reza Zarrab, accused of violating sanctions against Iran, told three people attending the Oval Office meeting Bloomberg.
Zarrab later pleaded guilty to what prosecutors called a & # 39; massive and brutal plan that blew a one-billion-dollar hole in Iran's sanctions regime & # 39 ;.
Sources said that after the Oval Office meeting, Tillerson immediately repeated his objection to Trump's request to the then Chief of Staff John Kelly in an ongoing interview. say the request would be illegal.
Trump allegedly put pressure on the then state secretary Rex Tillerson (left) in 2017 to interfere in a prosecution of the ministry of justice of an international gold trader
Tillerson flatly refused Trump's request to persuade the DOJ to drop a criminal case against Reza Zarrab (above), accused of violating sanctions against Iran
The White House, Kelly and Tillerson all refused to comment on the record to Bloomberg.
The release of Zarrab was reportedly a high priority for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, until the gold trader agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in New York.
Zarrab, 35, a double national of Iran and Turkey, was a witness to the government in the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former deputy general manager of the Turkish State Lobby Bank who was convicted of helping Iran to evade American sanctions.
On the other hand, Giuliani, who was a private lawyer at the time, but became President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in April 2018, spoke out voluntarily.
Giuliani told Bloomberg that he had never raised Zarrab & # 39; s case with Trump, but later said he might have.
Giuliani first said he had never raised Zarrab & # 39; s case with Trump, but later said he might have done so
Giuliani said he had spoken to US officials as part of his attempt to arrange an exchange of Zarrab for Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was imprisoned in Turkey and later released (above)
He said he had spoken with US officials as part of his attempt to arrange an exchange of Zarrab for Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was imprisoned in Turkey and later released in 2018.
& # 39; Suppose I talked to Trump about it – so what? I was then a private lawyer, & Giuliani said.
& # 39; Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe at some point I dropped his name in a conversation. Or maybe one of his people talked to him about it because I was trying to do a prisoner exchange. & # 39;
One source confirms that Tillerson's Foreign Ministry became involved in discussions about possible exchange of Zarrab for Brunson, but the case was eventually lifted because Turkey continued to escalate its demands
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