Here’s Why Rudy Giuliani Has Been So Quiet Lately
Records show former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has strong connections to the Russian regime and was very active in the campaign, praising Vladimir Putin and demonizing Hillary Clinton as Russia perpetrated an unprecedented attack on U.S. democracy.
However, following James Comey’s announcement that the FBI was conducting an investigation into the possible collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government to help Trump get elected, the former New York Mayor has virtually disappeared from the media spotlight.
It turns out, according to Alternet, Guiliani is defending in U.S. federal court a corrupt Turkish businessman who sought to flout U.S. and international sanctions on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Last month Giuliani joined the legal defense team of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian dual national who is under indictment for, you guessed it, trading with the enemy.
Zarrab, who is being held in New York, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiring to process hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions for Iranian businesses or Iran’s government from 2010 to 2015.
Turkish president Recep Erdogan denounced the charges as a baseless and fired the police and prosecutors who brought the case. Though charges against Zarrab and 13 other defendants were dropped, three ministers in Erdogan’s government had to resign. Erdogan and his family were personally implicated in Zarrab’s operation.
However, Zarrab was arrested at Miami International Airport on March 19, 2016 as he took his pop star wife and daughter on vacation to Disneyland.
You might think Rudy Giuliani would support U.S. law enforcement efforts to bring Zarrab to justice and expose the mechanism Iran used to evade sanctions on its nuclear program. Well, think again.
According to the report, Giuliani is seeking to spare Reza Zarrab from American justice. Giuliani and Mukasey recently traveled to Turkey to meet with Erdogan. They made sure to inform Attorney General Jeff Sessions of their itinerary. Sessions would make the ultimate decision about whether charges are dropped or not.
When prosecutors asked about Giuliani’s role in Zarrab’s defense, Zarrab’s chief lawyer stated in court papers, “That information quite frankly is none of the government’s business.”
Last week, the judge in the case asked Giuliani and Mukasey to disclose who is paying their legal fees. No information has been provided yet.
The Zarrab case illuminates an old story — Giuliani’s willingness to abandon his stated principles for large sums of money—and a new story: corrupt practices of the Erdogan regime and its ties to Trump insiders.
On Tuesday, bodyguards belonging to the Turkish president’s security detail were involved in a mass brawl outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
The well-dressed guards in suits and ties were captured on video punching and kicking protesters as uniformed authorities tried to contain the flaring violence. Nine people were hurt and two others were arrested, police said Wednesday, although none of those detained were guards — raising questions about their impunity under the law.
The State Department said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. was “communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
Erdogan wants to make the Kurds and the domestic political scandal go away. But in Trump’s transactional world, Iranian money laundering by Erdogan’s cronies may be of secondary importance to preserving U.S. access to Turkey’s Incirlik air base and maintaining Erdogan’s support in the expanding U.S. war in Syria.
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani stands ready to help facilitate the corrupt bargain — for a fee.