Rudy Giuliani is the subject of another Department of Justice investigation into his lobbying activities this time reportedly scrutinizing allegations that he worked for Turkish interests.
He is already under criminal investigation amid questions about whether he failed to declare lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian figures.
The new probe, reported by Bloomberg News, centers on his 2017 representation of an Iranian-Turkish gold trader accused of helping a state-owned Turkish bank avoid sanctions and funnel billions of dollars to Iran.
Giuliani pushed the Trump administration to release Reza Zarrab as part of a prisoner swap with Turkey.
At time, he was floating the idea he could be released in exchange for Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained on flimsy charges by Turkey.
‘Suppose I did talk to Trump about it – so what? I was a private lawyer at the time,’ Giuliani told Bloomberg News in 2019.
‘Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe at some point I dropped his name in a conversation.
Former mayor of New York and Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani faces fresh scrutiny this time as the Department of Justice reportedly investigates whether he lobbied on behalf of Turkish interests
In 2017, Giuliani represented Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader accused of helping a state-owned Turkish bank avoid sanctions and funnel billions of dollars to Iran. Giuliani reportedly urged the Trump administration to release him as part of a prisoner swap
Giuliani floated the idea of a prisoner swap in 2017 to return pastor Andrew Brunson, who was being held on flimsy charges in Turkey. He was eventually freed late in 2018, and is seen here praying with President Trump in the White House Oval Office after returning to the U.S.
‘Or maybe one of his people talked to him about it because I was trying to do a prisoner swap.’
He also urged the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a top priority of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who accuses the exiled cleric of plotting a 2016 coup attempt.
The request was immediately opposed by then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who argued it would constitute interference in an ongoing criminal case in New York federal court.
Zarrab eventually pleaded guilty and began cooperating with investigators.
Guilani is already under intense legal scrutiny.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seizing Giuliani’s electronic devices in April 28 raids on his Manhattan home and office as part of an inquiry into whether he illegally lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian interests
Giuliani has denied lobbying for either Turkish or Ukrainian interests, and the government has not accused him of wrongdoing in either matter.
If the authorities determine that Giuliani acted for a foreign interest, it could ask him to register as a lobbyist and disclose contacts he had with U.S. and Turkish officials, according to Bloomberg.
Last week, his law license was suspended by New York state for his role in the battle to overturn last year’s election results.
Giuliani also urged Trump administration to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in Pennsylvania since falling out with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
The committee of First Department Appellate Division judges said Giuliani was not fit to practice law after he ‘communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for [Trump] and the Trump campaign’ over the president’s failed election campaign.
And a slew of new books picking over the last days of the Trump presidency offer a deeply unflattering view of the president’s personal lawyer.
One of them suggests Giuliani was particularly erratic he fuelled the president’s false belief that Mike Pence could overturn the election results.
‘The one person Trump did have at his side, Rudy Giuliani, was drinking heavily and in a constant state of excitation, often almost incoherent in his agitation and mania,’ author Michael Wolff wrote in an excerpt of his book published in New York magazine on Monday.