Fun to think about how we learned today that Trump and Barr did with Turkey the exact thing Trump and his fans are falsely claiming Joe Biden should be in prison for doing, and it’s just another wild story of Trump doing crimes that won’t break through https://t.co/rGtKeMLqIo
— ? Endless Zoom Meeting ? (@AdamSerwer) October 30, 2020
The iron rule of Repub propaganda is that it’s always projection, but this particular saga is particularly ripe…
This story is one huge five alarm Trump corruption scandal with individual acts of corruption by Barr, Whitaker, and Mnuchin. https://t.co/zxayB4d1Or
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) October 29, 2020
Committing actual journalism at the NYTimes — “Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump”:
The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Mr. Berman had traveled to Washington in June 2019 to discuss a particularly delicate case with Attorney General William P. Barr and some of his top aides: a criminal investigation into Halkbank, a state-owned Turkish bank suspected of violating U.S. sanctions law by funneling billions of dollars of gold and cash to Iran.
For months, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had been pressing President Trump to quash the investigation, which threatened not only the bank but potentially members of Mr. Erdogan’s family and political party. When Mr. Berman sat down with Mr. Barr, he was stunned to be presented with a settlement proposal that would give Mr. Erdogan a key concession.
Mr. Barr pressed Mr. Berman to allow the bank to avoid an indictment by paying a fine and acknowledging some wrongdoing. In addition, the Justice Department would agree to end investigations and criminal cases involving Turkish and bank officials who were allied with Mr. Erdogan and suspected of participating in the sanctions-busting scheme.
Mr. Berman didn’t buy it.
The bank had the right to try to negotiate a settlement. But his prosecutors were still investigating key individuals, including some with ties to Mr. Erdogan, and believed the scheme had helped finance Iran’s nuclear weapons program…
Let’s not argue about ‘oo bribed ‘oo!…
… The president’s apparent eagerness to please Mr. Erdogan has drawn scrutiny for years. So has the scale and intensity of the lobbying effort by Turkey on issues like its demand for the extradition of one of Mr. Erdogan’s political rivals, a Turkish religious leader living in self-imposed exile in the United States. Mr. Erdogan had a big political stake in the outcome, because the case had become a major embarrassment for him in Turkey.
At the White House, Mr. Trump’s handling of the matter became troubling even to some senior officials at the time.
The president was discussing an active criminal case with the authoritarian leader of a nation in which Mr. Trump does business; he reported receiving at least $2.6 million in net income from operations in Turkey from 2015 through 2018, according to tax records obtained by The New York Times.
And Mr. Trump’s sympathetic response to Mr. Erdogan was especially jarring because it involved accusations that the bank had undercut Mr. Trump’s policy of economically isolating Iran, a centerpiece of his Middle East plan.
Former White House officials said they came to fear that the president was open to swaying the criminal justice system to advance a transactional and ill-defined agenda of his own…
And everyone around him was just FINE with that.
Criminal investigations to clean up the mess these goniffs leave behind is gonna take years — and make a lot of prosecutors’ reputations.
the contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations in this story is stark. Erdogan asks Biden to fire Preet Bharara in 2016 and Biden says no. In 2020, Barr fires Bharara's successor Geoffrey Berman after failing to get Berman to soft-pedal the case. https://t.co/ooKr7W6qvm
— Quinta Jurecic (@qjurecic) October 29, 2020