Tags: Iran | Turkey Coup | judge | Rudy Giuliani | Michael Mukasey | Turkey

Judge Weighs Potential Giuliani, Mukasey Conflict of Interest

Image: Judge Weighs Potential Giuliani, Mukasey Conflict of Interest
Michael Mukasey and Rudy Giuliani in 2010 (Getty Images/Francois Guillot)

Monday, 01 May 2017 08:34 PM

A federal judge will consider Tuesday whether former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey have conflicts of interest in their legal defense for a Turkish-Iranian businessman, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Giuliani and Mukasey are not representing Reza Zarrab in the courtroom, but have held meetings with top U.S. and Turkish officials, according to the Journal, including Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss "the possibility of an agreement that could promote the security of the United States and resolve the issues in this case."

Zarrab, a well-known gold trader in Turkey, is charged with four others with violating American sanctions on Iran by helping Iranian banks and businesses process millions of dollars.

Giuliani and Mukasey have said in affidavits they have met with at least one official at the U.S. State Department and that top U.S. officials are open to an agreement since the case involves "consumer goods" rather than weapons or nuclear technology.

But federal prosecutors in Manhattan disagree, saying Zarrab violated national security by offering his services in a letter to then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The conflict of interest arises, prosecutors say, because the law firms the two men work for Greenberg Traurig LLP (Giuliani) and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (Mukasey) have represented banks Zarrab is alleged to have defrauded.

That could hinder the firms' ability to represent Zarrab, prosecutors say, but Giuliani and Mukasey deny any such conflict.

Another possible conflict, argue prosecutors, is the fact Greenberg Traurig is a registered agent for Turkey, providing services such as meeting with U.S. officials and members of Congress on behalf of the Turkish government.

Both Giuliani and Mukasey have close ties to President Donald Trump, who recently congratulated Erdogan on a controversial vote giving him more powers.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman is expected to ask Zarrab on Tuesday whether he understands the potential conflicts and wants to waive them.

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A federal judge will consider Tuesday whether former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey have conflicts of interest in their legal defense for a Turkish-Iranian businessman, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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Monday, 01 May 2017 08:34 PM
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