In 2017, President Donald Trump reportedly pushed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to ask the Justice Department to drop its case against one of Rudy Giuliani’s clients.
According a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, Trump wanted the DOJ to terminate its criminal case against Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was charged with evading U.S. sanctions against Iran.
At the time, Zarrab was represented by former U.S. General Attorney Michael Mukasey and Giuliani, a longtime friend of Trump’s (the President had not yet hired Giuliani to be his personal lawyer).
Tillerson reportedly rejected Trump’s request, and others in the meeting were “shocked,” per Bloomberg’s description.
Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that shortly after the meeting, Tillerson told then-Chief of Staff John Kelly about Trump’s request and how carrying it out would be illegal.
Giuliani told Bloomberg he might’ve mentioned Zarrab to Trump, but he couldn’t say for sure.
“Suppose I did talk to Trump about it. So what?” he said. “I was a private lawyer at the time.”