, 56 tweets, 19 min read
💣TurkeyGate💣

What do money laundering, evading Iran Sanctions/Nuke the Nuke Deal, Trump, Flynn, Giuliani, Mukasey, Brian Ballard (lobbying), Erdogan, Zarrab, MbS, Khoshoggi, Pastor Brunson, Syria, the Kurds & Lindsey Graham have in common?

Let’s have a look shall we?
📌Note: Lindsey Graham dishes on Trump in hoax calls with Russians proved quite illuminating revealing his private vs public face on some of this matters regarding Turkey.

politico.com/news/2019/10/1…
📌The substance of Graham’s convo w/ Stolyarov, who was posing as Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, is newly relevant in light of the Graham’s push for sanctions on Turkey as punishment for their offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria. politico.com/news/2019/10/1…
🔑Graham labeled the Kurds a “threat” to Turkey in the call, seemingly contradicting what he has said publicly in recent days.

politico.com/news/2019/10/1…
🔑Graham also mentions Trump’s personal interest in a “Turkish bank case” in the call that appears to refer to a U.S. case involving Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader and client of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. #Halkbank

politico.com/news/2019/10/1…
‼️Background:

In late 2017, Zarrab also directly implicated Erdogan, suggesting that the then-prime minister had approved the scheme.

washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…
🔑Shortly after Zarrab was arrested, Erdogan pressured the Obama administration to release him — and to fire the U.S. attorney who brought charges against Zarrab, Preet Bharara.

🔑Trump fired Bharara in March 2017.

washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…
🔑As he was with Ukraine, Giuliani was so steeped in events in Turkey that DOS officials grew increasingly alarmed.

🔑Earlier in 2017, he had traveled to the country and met with Erdogan as part of his effort to seek a resolution in Zarrab’s case.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Giuliani and Mukasey said in a letter to the judge in Zarrab’s case that they notified then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions of their plans before holding a meeting with Erdogan.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Erdogan repeatedly spoke with Trump and, before 2017, Obama administration officials about Zarrab’s case when it was before the Southern District of New York as part of a broader investigation into a scheme to evade sanctions on Iran.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑At one point, the DOS under Tillerson got involved in discussions over possibly swapping Zarrab for Brunson, the jailed pastor, but the matter was eventually dropped because Turkey kept escalating its demands.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Trump pressed then-SOS Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Giuliani, according to 3 people familiar with the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Tillerson refused, arguing it would constitute interference in an ongoing investigation of the trader, Reza Zarrab, according to the people.

🔑They said other participants in the Oval Office were shocked by the request.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Tillerson has said publicly that the president frequently asked him to do things that were illegal.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
‘Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way,”’ Tillerson said. “It violates the law, it violates treaty you know and he just, he got really frustrated when we’d have those conversations.”

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Feb 2018 Giuliani & Mukasey net with Erdogan hoping to reach a “diplomatic deal under which Turkey might further aid the United States’ interests in the region.”

THE ASK:

🔑In return, the US might release the two men’s client, Reza Zarrab.

nytimes.com/2017/04/20/nyr…
📌5/8/18 Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned

Trump won strong backing from Saudi Arabia & Israel, whose leader, Netanyahu, hailed him for a “historic move” and “courageous leadership.” #Mob

However our allies were massively alarmed.

nytimes.com/2018/05/08/wor…
The withdrawal also drew a rare public rebuke by Mr. Obama, who said Trump’s withdrawal would leave the world less safe, confronting it with “a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East.”

And here we are...

nytimes.com/2018/05/08/wor…
🔑Erdogan wanted to drive Kurdish fighters away from Turkey's southern border.

🔑Erdogan accused the separatist Kurdish YPG militia of terrorism and wanted to weaken their hopes for an autonomous enclave in northern Syria.

🔑Trump delivered.

washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/09…
Back to Zarrab:

At least eight big banks allegedly victimized by Zarrab, are current or former clients of Giuliani/Mukasey's law firms, (BofA, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase, Standard Chartered Plc, UBS Group AG & WF & Co
mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/id…
🔑Prosecutors accused the Iranian-born Zarrab and two others of engaging in hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions for Iran's government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015, in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions.
mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/id…
🔑Reza Zarrab cooperated w/ Mueller probe re Michael Flynn

🔑So the big question is: does Zarrab have details that could prove Flynn was assisting foreign countries’ influence affecting U.S. policy & affairs?
cbc.ca/news/world/who…
Let’s not forget this piece of the puzzle:
Zarrab was being prosecuted in federal court in New York at the time on charges of evading U.S. sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Zarrab had hired former AG Michael Mukasey and Giuliani, who has said he reached out repeatedly to U.S. officials to seek a diplomatic solution for his client outside the courts.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Giuliani initially denied that he ever raised Zarrab’s case with Trump but later said he might have done so.🙄

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
U.S. officials as part of his effort to arrange a swap of Zarrab for Andrew Brunson, an American pastor jailed in Turkey who was later released in 2018. #BargainingChip

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
“Suppose I did talk to Trump about it -- so what? I was a private lawyer at the time,” Giuliani said. “Maybe at some point I dropped his name in a convo. Or maybe one of his people talked to him about it because I was trying to do a prisoner swap.”

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
10/2/18 Journalist Jamal Khoshoggi was brutally murdered instead the Saudi consulate in Instanbul.

The consulate was bugged by Turkish intelligence - the planning and the execution were all recorded. #Leverage

bbc.com/news/world-mid…
Trump And Pompeo Have Enabled A Saudi Cover-Up Of The Khashoggi Killing

Mnuchin & Pompeo immediately flew to Saudi in the days after the Khoshoggi brilutal murder.

npr.org/2019/10/02/765…
‼️Refresher:

Remember that Pastor who was released by Turkey 10 days after Khishoggi’s gruesome murder in Turkey by MbS & Co in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

The very same person Giuliani wanted to swap for Zarrab.

Remember how odd that was? 👇🏼

10/12/18: Turkey Frees Pastor Andrew Brunson

nytimes.com/2018/10/12/wor…
Brunson spoke about how President Trump "actually took unprecedented actions" to get him released from prison.

I bet he did...

foxnews.com/faith-values/t…
‼️State Department Alarm

Concerns about Trump’s close alliance with Erdogan were exacerbated this week after Trump abruptly announced on Sunday that he would clear US troops from the path of a planned Turkish invasion in northeast Syria.

TrumpDelivered

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Those Kurdish-led forces are now under attack.

🔑Trump followed his weekend decision with an announcement Tuesday that he has invited Erdogan to the White House in November.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Zarrab had “close ties” with Erdogan.

They accused Zarrab of using his network of companies to move money through the U.S. financial system to help Iran evade sanctions as the U.S. was stepping up economic pressure on the country.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Zarrab later pleaded guilty and testified against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who headed international banking at state-owned Turkiye Halk Bankasii AS, known as Halkbank.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
10/15/19 Turkish Bank Charged In Manhattan Fed Court For Its Participation In A Multibillion-Dollar Iranian Sanctions Evasion Scheme

🔑What role/interest did TeamTrump play in facilitating/moving money through US banks involved, through Halkbank?

justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/t…
TÜRKİYE HALK BANKASI A.S., a/k/a “Halkbank,” was charged today in a six-count Indictment with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses related to the bank’s participation in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. 

justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/t…
🔑Zarrab said Erdogan knew of and supported the laundering effort on behalf of Iran.

🔑What did TeamTrump know of this scheme?

🔑Did TeamTrump benefit financially in this scheme?

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Atilla was eventually convicted of helping Iran evade economic sanctions on billions of dollars of oil revenue and served 28 months in U.S. prison before returning to Turkey in July to a hero’s welcome.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
🔑Turkey has so far managed to avoid U.S. penalties over the sanctions-evasion scheme. ORLY?

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Despite Erdogan’s demands and Giuliani’s efforts, Zarrab was never sent back to Turkey. Once he agreed to testify, he was moved to a county jail for safekeeping, and he stayed there until after Atilla’s trial was over.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
By then, Zarrab’s home and assets in Turkey had been seized by Erdogan.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Brian Ballard has known/done business with Trump for 30 years. Trump

Ballard Group also involved in Kosovo shenanigans (and so much more)

Robert Wexler
Ballard Partners FARA
s3.amazonaws.com/fara2.opensecr…
Robert Wexler 3/17/18 e-mail to the Trump Administration re Kosovo

H/T @MariaKChica
s3.amazonaws.com/fara2.opensecr…
The four biggest foes of America that gain from Trump’s Syria pullout:

Turkey, Russia, Iran & the Assad regime.

The biggest losers are the allies who fought alongside U.S. soldiers in Syria: Europe and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

washingtonpost.com/world/2019/10/…
@threadreaderapp unroll please & thank you.
There is even a Zarrab Trump Tower apartment connection:
Oh, and of course, this should come as no surprise, TeamTrump is going forward selling arms to Turkey...

10/15/19 Giuliani privately urged Trump in 2017 to extradite a Turkish cleric living in exile in the US, a top priority of Turkish President Erdogan.

Giuliani repeatedly argued to Trump that the US should eject Fethullah Gulen from the country.

#FlynnOp

washingtonpost.com/politics/giuli…
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