Top Democrat plans to ask Bolton for information on Turkey probe after Bolton claims

Top Democrat plans to ask Bolton for information on Turkey probe after Bolton claims
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee plans to call on former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Bolton book sells 780,000 copies in first week, set to surpass 1M copies printed MORE to provide information on his claim that President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE agreed to intervene in a federal investigation into a Turkish company at the request of Turkey’s president.

Bolton, in an upcoming book about his experience during the Trump administration, claims Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a memo to Trump in which he defended a firm from his country that was under investigation by the Southern District of New York for potential violations of Iranian sanctions.

Trump, according to a copy of the book seen by The Hill, agreed to "take care of things" and said the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York were "Obama people." The contents of Bolton's book were first reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

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Senator Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits Hillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse MORE (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement that 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 favor” to Erdoğan. 

Wyden added that Bolton’s book provided “damning evidence” as he called on the former national security adviser to provide more information.

“I have been investigating potential political interference by Donald Trump as it relates to Turkey and sanctions enforcement, and this damning evidence corroborates what my investigation has uncovered to date,” Wyden wrote. “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.”

The investigation relates to Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, which was indicted by the Southern District of New York in October for allegedly funneling up to $20 billion to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Erdoğan and his son-in-law, who is Turkey’s finance minister, are identified as unnamed co-conspirators in the indictment.

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The Treasury Department had told Wyden in November that Trump had asked multiple federal agencies to address Erdoğan's "concerns" about the Halkbank investigation. 

Neither the Department of Justice nor a representative for Bolton immediately returned requests for comment.

Bolton's book includes a number of explosive claims, including that Trump solicited Chinese President Xi Jinping's assistance in winning reelection.