“Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump”
“New details of the Justice Department’s handling of the accusations against Halkbank reveal how Turkey’s leader pressured the president, prompting concern from top White House aides.”
Ed. note: Trump discussed an active criminal case with the authoritarian leader of Turkey, a nation where Trump has business interests. Attorney General Barr then interfered with his own DOJ prosecutors. These are impeachable offenses for both President Trump and AG Barr!
“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.
“‘He would interfere in the regular government process to do something for a foreign leader,’ John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, said in a recent interview. ‘In anticipation of what? In anticipation of another favor from that person down the road.'”