Yesterday the SDNY criminally charged a Turkish bank for laundering millions of dollars in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Palmer Report flagged this case as being important because the SDNY press release revealed that the money laundering operation had been run by Rudy Giuliani’s former legal client Reza Zarrab. Now it turns out this story is much larger than even we were expecting.
It turns out the SDNY wanted to bring these charges against the Turkish bank earlier, but Turkish President Erdogan asked Donald Trump back in April to block it from happening. Sure enough, according to a stunning new report from Bloomberg tonight, Trump told Erdogan that he would have Attorney General Bill Barr and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin make the case go away.
Considering that the charges weren’t brought against the Turkish bank until now, it’s pretty clear that Barr and Mnuchin did make the criminal charges go away, at least for several months. This means that Trump, Barr, and Mnuchin entered into a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice. This is a felony no matter why they did it. When you throw in the fact that the case involved a Rudy Giuliani client, and Trump’s subsequent decision to do Turkey a huge favor by pulling out of northern Syria, the whole thing gets even uglier.
What stands out here is that the coverup is surfacing. Someone with knowledge of the Trump-Barr-Mnuchin scandal with Turkey has leaked it to the media in an apparent effort at sounding the alarm. Criminal coverups only work as long as the public doesn’t learn about them. This is going to be, at the least, another article of impeachment against Trump. It also guarantees that Barr and Mnuchin are now facing very long prison sentences, unless they cut plea deals or somehow convince Trump to pardon them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report