Giuliani pressed Trump, Tillerson for Turkish prisoner swap in Oval Office meeting: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE's lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' Feehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Coronavirus concerns emerge around debates MORE reportedly used a White House meeting with Trump and then-Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe four China strategies Trump or Biden will need to consider Trump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet How the US could respond to Russia's support of the Taliban MORE in 2017 to push for the U.S. to drop charges on Reza Zarrab, a client of his with ties to Turkey's government.

CNN reported Thursday that Giuliani pressed Trump and Tillerson to support a deal that would drop U.S. prosecution of Zarrab for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran in exchange for Turkey's release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained in the country a year earlier amid a coup attempt.


Tillerson reportedly informed others, including then-White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, of the idea after the meeting, which he said he could not support.

News of Giuliani's involvement comes just days after it was reported that Trump himself at one time pressured Tillerson to convince the Justice Department to drop the charges, to which Zarrab later pleaded guilty.

Zarrab has since said that Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was aware of an international money-funneling scheme that resulted in funds being laundered for Iran. The Turkish leader has denied this charge.

Giuliani reportedly pressed U.S. officials several times unsuccessfully for the charges to be dropped ahead of his client's guilty plea.

The reports come as Giuliani faces intense scrutiny for his work on behalf of Trump, which has allowed him to remain a private citizen while attempting to dig up dirt on Trump's enemies, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOn The Money: Economists flabbergasted after Congress leaves with no deal | Markets rise as the economy struggles | Retail sales slow in July Congress exits with no deal, leaving economists flabbergasted Trump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' MORE.

The former New York City mayor's work to discredit Biden, particularly his and Trump's efforts to spur a Ukrainian investigation into the Democratic front-runner, have become the center of an impeachment inquiry launched by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.