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Latest sanctions on Iran will block ‘billions’ in assets: US

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The US sanctions slapped Monday on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials will block “literally billions” in Iranian assets, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The sanctions, which US President Donald Trump signed in an Oval Office appearance with Mnuchin, target eight top military commanders as well as Khamenei.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also will be blacklisted “later this week,” Mnuchin said.

Some of the sanctions had been planned in advance, while others were added in retaliation for the downing last week of a US Global Hawk surveillance drone, according to Mnuchin.

Trump had considered a military strike after the drone was downed Thursday, then reversed himself minutes before it was to be carried out. He has said he changed his mind after learning that as many as 150 people could be killed.

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Among those sanctioned Monday was Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval commander Ali Reza Tangsiri, who the US said had threatened in February to close the Strait of Hormuz, crucial to global oil trade.

Also blacklisted was Aerospace Force commander Amirali Hajizadeh, whom Washington blames for the downing of the drone. Iran says it was shot down after entering its air space, but the US insists it was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

The sanctions largely freeze their targets out of much of the global financial system, blocking them from US-dollar-denominated transactions and barring international banks from moving money on their behalf while also freezing any assets under US jurisdiction.

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GUILTY: Jury rules Michael Flynn’s former business partner is guilty of lobbying for Turkey

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Michael Flynn's former business partner Bijan Kian was found guilty by a jury for illegally lobbying for a foreign country.

The information was uncovered as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and as the Justice Department's crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying, CNN explained.

Flynn has had a difficult go in his court case, but information Flynn gave was helpful, according to the DOJ.

Kian is an Iranian-American businessman who was charged with conspiring to hide his lobbying work for Turkey without registering as a foreign agent for the Turkish government.

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FLASHBACK: Mueller makes GOP lawmaker look like an absolute fool during 2013 hearing

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While previewing former special counsel Robert Mueller's upcoming testimony before the House of Representatives, CNN on Tuesday played a clip from six years ago showing Mueller schooling Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who tried to corner the then-FBI director about his agency's work on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

During the hearing, Gohmert tried to get Mueller to explain why the FBI supposedly hadn't visited the mosque that was frequented by the Tsarnaev brothers, the two American citizens of Chechen descent who carried out the attack.

"Why did no one go to the mosque and say, who are these guys?" Gohmert asked. "Why was that not done?"

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Trump sues to block New York from releasing his tax returns

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday filed s lawsuit to block the State of New York from releasing his state tax returns. Empire State lawmakers recently passed legislation, signed by the governor, allowing the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release any individual's tax returns to Congress.

The president's lawsuit names the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York State Attorney General, and a New York State tax official, according to The Hill.

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