President Donald Trump pressed former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Department of Justice to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader in a 2017 Oval Office meeting, Bloomberg reported Wednesday night.
Tillerson reportedly refused, saying the move would constitute an interference in an active investigation. He repeated his objections to then-chief of staff John Kelly in a hallway conversation in the White House.
At the time, the trader, Reza Zarrab, was being prosecuted by a New York federal court on charges of evading U.S. sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. He hired the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to represent him.
Part of the president’s request included asking him Tillerson to speak with Giuliani, who was not the president’s personal attorney at the time but is now. Giuliani initially denied ever mentioning Zarrab’s case with Trump but later said he might have done so, according to the report.
“Suppose I did talk to Trump about it — so what? I was a private lawyer at the time,” Giuliani told the news outlet. “Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe at some point I dropped his name in a conversation.”
Oh, Rudy. Shut up. For your sake.
He then suggested that perhaps one of Trump’s staffers spoke to him about Zarrab’s case when he discussed arranging a swap of Zarrab for Andrew Brunson, an American pastor jailed in Turkey who was later released in 2018, with U.S. officials.
Giuliani also said he discussed Zarrab’s case with State Department officials, although he did not say if he spoke to Tillerson about the matter.
The White House, along with representatives for Tillerson and Kelly, all declined comment.
This too would be impeachable — another obstruction of justice. He failed, because even Tillerson said no. But for any other president, this would be impeachable. For Trump, it’s just a day that ends in “y”
Former Deputy Assistant to President Obama & National Security Advisor to VP Biden:
At the end of the Obama admin, Erdogan pushed us hard on the Zarrab case. Erdogan feared revelations about corruption would come out in court. We told him it wasn’t appropriate for the WH to interfere in such cases.— Colin Kahl (@ColinKahl) October 9, 2019
Trump wasn’t just helping Rudy here. https://t.co/nrBi7913mK
Deutsche Bank has told a federal appeals court that it does not have President Trump’s personal tax returns, the court said on Thursday.
Current and former bank officials had previously told The Times that Deutsche Bank had portions of Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, which it collected as it decided whether to lend him and his companies hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate and other development projects. When Mr. Trump was sworn in as president, he owed the bank more than $300 million, making it his largest creditor.
It is unclear when Deutsche Bank stopped retaining the tax returns.
You don’t loan that kind of money without having more tax returns. Unless it is being laundered.