U.S. prosecutors subpoena individuals from Turkey-affiliated lobbying firm

U.S. prosecutors have subpoenaed several individuals as part of an investigation into the activities of Rudy Giuliani, a close ally of President Donald Trump, who pushed for the Turkish government's agenda over the deportation of an Islamist preacher Ankara blames for a coup attempt in 2016, CNN reported on Thursday.

"Prosecutors sent subpoenas in recent weeks to Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm run by Brian Ballard, a top Trump fundraiser, and FBI agents have knocked on the doors of others involved with Republican campaigns," CNN said, citing anonymous sources.

Ballard Partners, the firm run by U.S. President Donald Trump’s top Florida fundraiser Brian Ballard - described as the most powerful lobbyist under the current White House - signed a $125,000-per-month contract with Halkbank in 2017 after an executive from the bank was charged with creating a scheme to funnel Iranian money through the bank past U.S. sanctions.

Ballard Partners made roughly $2 million from Halkbank and the Turkish government, which signed a separate contract with the firm in 2017, and has “bundled $295,000 this past quarter to Trump Victory, a political action committee and has donated tens of thousands of dollars more to Trump’s campaign and associates.

The company was also involved in negotiations between Ankara and Washington over the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor Turkey accused of espionage.