Former Assistant American National Security Leader John Bolton expressed concern in a conversation with U.S. Attorney General William Barr that the White House’s head Donald Trump was doing favors to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In turn, Barr, whose reaction is quoted-free, said he was worried about Trump’s ability to influence two independent investigations by the United States against companies in Turkey and China. Arguing in favor of the validity of such concerns, the US Attorney General mentioned the conversations of the head of the White House with leaders of these countries. In particular, Barr pointed to Trump’s talks with Xi Jinping, in which the Chinese leader called for ZTE to be saved from bankruptcy, pleading guilty in 2017 to violating U.S. sanctions against the DPRK, Iran, and several other countries, and agreed to pay a large fine. In 2018, the American president lifted sanctions against ZTE, which, according to the publication, helped promote trade negotiations with China, but it became a threat to national security.
Barr also mentioned the conversation between the U.S. leader and Erdogan in 2018 about allegations against the Turkish state bank Halkbank of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, fraud and money laundering. In January 2018, a court in New York found Halkbank Vice President Hakan Atilla guilty of assisting in the transfer of funds received by Iran from the sale of oil and gas. Erdogan, speaking to reporters in Turkey the same year, assured that Trump had promised to work on his subordinates in order to stop the criminal prosecution of the bank. However, in December 2019, the federal court of the Southern District of New York State still rejected the Halkbank petition to temporarily suspend consideration of the charges against it.
The US Department of Justice declined to comment on this information. Bolton himself, in a statement published with his publisher and literary agent, indicated that he did not provide The New York Times with any data on his memoirs. According to the rules, a book whose publication date is not yet known must be submitted to the White House for publication before publication. According to The New York Times, Bolton submitted his work for consideration by the American authorities a month ago.
A Sunday article that cited a source who reviewed a draft of Bolton’s memoirs said that Trump last August told Assistant American National Security Leader at that time that he wanted to continue blocking military assistance to Ukraine until Kiev begins an investigation into the case of former US Vice President Joseph Biden and his son. According to the newspaper, the Republican President sought to link military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of about $ 400 million with his request to begin proceedings regarding the work of Hunter Biden in the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
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