Giuliani, Mukasey deny conflict in Zarrab case
REUTERS photoRudy Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey have penned two fresh affidavits explaining their role in representing a wealthy Turkish-Iranian gold trader accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. However, the government told a New York federal judge on May 22 that more information is needed to rule out a conflict of interest.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who is now at Greenberg Traurig LLP, and Mukasey, now at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, each provided details in response to the judge’s questions, essentially saying their work is exclusive to the businessman Reza Zarrab.
Giuliani said in his affidavit that he is walled off from any of his firm’s representation of Turkey and that he is representing solely Zarrab in this matter. Mukasey has participated in every conversation Giuliani has had regarding his negotiations tied to Zarrab’s case, he also said in the affidavit.
“As such, even if the court were to imply a conflict with regard to me and my firm’s ethically screened-off representation of Turkey, Mr. Mukasey’s presence ensures Mr. [Zarrab] always has conflict-free counsel fully participating and representing his interests,” Giuliani wrote.
Mukasey, meanwhile, said in an affidavit that neither he nor Debevoise has represented Turkey, Iran or the Turkish state-owned Halkbank, and that his firm’s representation of the U.S. government was only connected to corporate finance matters for the U.S. Department of Energy. He’s previously said Debevoise did litigation work for the DOE, but corrected that statement in the affidavit on May 22.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman had earlier this month ordered more briefing for his inquiry into possible conflicts of interest in the two legal giants’ representation of Zarrab, saying he needed more information about the nature of their representation before making a decision, court records show.