Preet Bharara under investigation by Turkey: report

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is under investigation by the government of Turkey for allegedly violating international and domestic laws in gathering evidence against a Turkish-Iranian businessman.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that Turkish officials have accused Bharara of orchestrating a politically-motivated case against Reza Zarrab, a gold trader accused in the U.S. of violating sanctions against Iran.

Turkey is also reportedly investigating Bharara’s successor, acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.


NBC reported earlier this week that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan offered former national security adviser Michael Flynn upward of $15 million during the presidential transition in December to return Erdoğan’s top political rival from Pennsylvania to Turkey and make sure that Zarrab’s case was dropped.

Turkish officials have accused Bharara of links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who the government blames for a failed coup in 2016. Bharara has vehemently denied any ties to Gülen.

Legal analyst Danny Cevallos told NBC on Thursday that Zarrab is likely cooperating with Mueller and other investigators probing Flynn’s ties to the Turkish government.

“You can fill in the gaps that federal investigators are looking for any relation between Erdoğan and Flynn,” Cevallos said. “So, to the extent that Zarrab has any connection or knowledge of that, it is very important that they’re flipping him.”

Mueller is investigating Flynn and others in the Trump campaign as part of the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russia during the 2016 election.

Specifically, Mueller is investigating whether Flynn, who allegedly met with top Turkish officials in New York near Trump Tower in 2016, could have carried out the deal and whether that would have resulted in actual payments to Flynn in the White House.  

Tags Fethullah Gülen Mike Flynn Preet Bharara Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Robert Mueller Russian interference during the 2016 election Turkey Turkish government
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