President Donald Trump pressured then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in 2017 to interfere in a Justice Department prosecution of an international gold trader who was a client of Rudolph Giuliani, according to a new report.
Tillerson flatly refused Trump's request to persuade the DOJ to drop a criminal case against Reza Zarrab, who was charged with violating sanctions against Iran, three people present at the Oval Office meeting told Bloomberg.
Zarrab later pleaded guilty in what prosecutors called a 'massive and brazen scheme that blew a billion-dollar hole in the Iran sanctions regime.'
Sources said that after the Oval Office meeting, Tillerson immediately repeated his objection to Trump's request to then-Chief of Staff John Kelly in a hallway conversation. saying the request would be illegal.
Giuliani told Bloomberg that he never raised Zarrab's case with Trump, but later said he might have done so.
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