By Justine Coleman
WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Former national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview on Sunday that President Trump proposed intervening in the Southern District of New York’s (SDNY) investigation of a state-owned Turkish bank.
Bolton told ABC’s Martha Raddatz last week that Trump’s suggestion of getting involved in the investigation felt like “obstruction of justice to me.” The December 2018 episode is detailed in Bolton’s forthcoming book entitled The Room Where It Happened.
The SDNY had been examining the Turkish bank Halkbank for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. Bolton asserted that Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed the investigation several times, with the Turkish president wanting a settlement for Halkbank.
“And the president said to Erdogan at one point, ‘Look, those prosecutors in New York are Obama people. Wait till I get my people in, and then we’ll take care of this,’” Bolton said.
“And I thought to myself — and I’m a Department of Justice alumnus myself,” he added. “I’ve never heard any president say anything like that. Ever.”