Trump asked Tillerson to interfere in DOJ case against Giuliani client: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE pressured then-Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Kudlow says Trump 'looking at' reforming law on bribing foreign officials Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE to help convince the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop a criminal investigation against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was also a client of Trump's current personal lawyer, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Schiff tells Senate Ukraine interference conspiracy was 'brought to you by the Kremlin' The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' MORE, Bloomberg reports.

Tillerson refused Trump's 2017 request, saying it would be illegal to interfere with an ongoing investigation. He repeated his stance to then-chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE in a hallway conversation in the White House.

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At the time, Reza Zarrab, the trader in question, was being prosecuted by a New York federal court on charges of evading U.S. sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, according to Bloomberg. As a result, Zarrab hired Giuliani and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Giuliani reportedly reached out to U.S. officials several times to resolve the situation outside of court.

The report comes amid growing scrutiny over the president's dealings with foreign leaders, especially in light of a recent whistleblower report that raised concerns over a phone call Trump held in which he pressed Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE and his son. The scandal has also implicated Giuliani, whose own dealings in Ukraine have drawn the attention of lawmakers in recent weeks.

The report also comes shortly after Trump announced he was pulling U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria ahead of an expected Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces there. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that he had formally launched the invasion.

Zarrab's release was reportedly a high priority for Erdoğan until the trader decided to cooperate with New York prosecutors.

Tillerson has openly said that Trump asked him multiple times to do things that would break the law, according to Bloomberg.

Eventually, Zarrab pleaded guilty and reportedly testified against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was in charge of international banking at Halkbank, a state-owned Turkish bank.

Erdoğan, Zarrab said, knew and supported the laundering effort on behalf of Iran, according to the new outlet. The Turkish president has denied the allegations.

The White House, Kelly and Tillerson declined to comment to Bloomberg.