Top democrat calls on Bolton to reveal information on Turkey
A leading U.S. Senate Democrat will call on former national security adviser John Bolton to provide more information on his claims President Donald Trump agreed to a request by Turkey to intervene in a federal investigation, the Hill reported.
Bolton, in an upcoming book about his time in the Trump administration, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked Trump to block an investigation of Halkbank, which was being probed for breaking sanctions on Iran.
Trump agreed to “take care of things” and said prosecutors involved in the investigation were “Obama people” and would soon be replaced, according to a copy of the book obtained by Ahval.
Democrat Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the book “confirms that Donald Trump attempted to interfere in a criminal investigation into the largest sanctions violations scheme in U.S. history as a favour” to Erdoğan, according to the Hill.
Wyden called on Bolton to provide more information, saying the book provided “damning evidence”.
“If John Bolton has an interest in serving his country, as opposed to selling books, he will respond promptly to my forthcoming request for more information about Donald Trump’s relationship with Turkey,” Wyden said.
Halkbank is under judicial and Treasury investigation for its alleged role in funnelling billions of dollars to Iran through the U.S. financial system. Mehmet Hakan Attilla, a deputy chief executive officer of Halkbank, was convicted by a Manhattan jury at the start of 2019 for complicity in the scheme. He has since been released on time served and is now head of the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
An October indictment against Halkbank identifies Erdoğan and his son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, as unnamed co-conspirators.
The Department of Justice and a representative for Bolton did not immediately return requests for comment, the Hill said.