New York federal Judge Richard Berman scolded former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for being “disingenuous” in his defense of a client accused of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.
“Most respectfully, the Giuliani and Mukasey affidavits appear surprisingly disingenuous in failing to mention the central role of Iran in the indictment,” said Judge Berman, according to the Daily Beast.
Giuliani is working with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to defend Reza Zarrab, who was arrested in March of 2016. Federal prosecutors allege Mr. Zarrab conspired to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Last month, the New York Times reported Giuliani’s role appeared to be to attempt to work out a deal with the government of Turkey and President Donald Trump — instead of with federal prosecutors.
Charges against Zarrab were filed by then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who was recently fired by President Donald Trump. Giuliani had served as U.S. Attorney for the Sourthern District in the 1980s. Mukasey served as a federal judge in the same district, including over a year while Giuliani was U.S. Attorney.
Giuliani currently serves as the informal cybersecurity advisor to President Trump.
As Katie Zavadski explained, Giuliani had a bizarre presence in this case even before he was admonished by the judge today. “So while the Turkish government has launched what appears to be a retaliatory criminal probe of the former United States Southern District U.S. Attorney, another former SDNY USA and an American attorney general are working to shortcut the Justice Department to cut a diplomatic deal on behalf of Erdoğan’s ally.”
Today’s hearing also focused on conflicts of interests, with Giuliani’s lobbying firm registered as an agent of Turkey.