Giuliani Client At Core Of Turkish Bank Case Had Office In Trump Tower Istanbul
In early 2017, The Daily Beast reported that several shady characters, including dictators and those who would do business with them, had taken up residence at some point in President Donald Trump’s Trump Towers Istanbul.
One of those sketchy individuals was Reza Zarrab, the Iranian-Turkish gold trader at the center of a Turkish bank fraud case who also happened to be a client of none other than Rudy Giuliani, currently the president’s personal attorney.
“Zarrab was at the center of a complex scheme that helped the Islamic Republic get around Western sanctions that locked the country out of global financial markets,” The Daily Beast reported at the time. Zarrab reportedly “helped the Turkish government use gold to buy oil and natural gas from Iran—an old-school way to handle financial transactions that the sanctions necessitated.”
Omri Ceren, managing director of press and strategy at The Israel Project, told The Daily Beast in 2017 that Zarrab having office space in Trump Towers would present an issue for the president: “Trump will have to have an answer for this or it could become shorthand for a willingness to enrich America’s enemies at the expense of American interests.”
But just last week, Bloomberg News reported that rather than distance himself from such appearances, Trump lobbied former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to convince the Justice Department to toss its case against Zarrab in 2017.
And as recently as August, Trump reportedly expressed to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that he continues to be interested in assisting with the bank fraud matter.