Attorney General, BCCI, Bush, CenTrust, CIA, Florida, fraud, Grand Jury, Grand jury indictment blocked by Barr, Iran, Iran Contra, Justice Department, Khashoggi, Kirkland and Ellis, Miami, Mueller, Mueller Indictment, Reagan, Robert Mueller, Russia, Saudi, Soviet Union, subpoenas, tax, Trump, US Attorney Dexter Lehtinen, USSR, William Barr
“Mr. Mueller indicated to Mr. Rivera and to me as well that they would prefer that our indictment — that we work aggressively on it as much as possible… I received a phone call a little bit before noon on August 22 from Denis Saylor who indicated to me that I was directed not to return the BCCI indictment. And I asked who was directing me not to return it, and he said Attorney General William Barr…” (US Atty Lehtinen)
“As Robert Mueller III, the Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department now in charge of the BCCI investigation, testified in October, 1991: BCCI was not an ordinary bank. It was set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs are extraordinarily complex. Its offers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection” (“The BCCI Affair A Report to the Committee on Foreign RelationsUnited States Senate by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank BrownDecember 1992“) https://archive.org/stream/TheBCCIAffair/The-BCCI-Affair_djvu.txt
William Barr, Deputy AG from May 1990, was acting AG for Bush from August 16, 1991 to November 26, 1991, when he became AG until January 20, 1993. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Attorney_General From 1973 to 1977, Barr was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Barr
“Mr. Rivera was proceeding as aggressively as possible on a potential tax indictment of BCCI. In or around late July or early August, Mr. Mueller indicated to Mr. Rivera and to me as well that they would prefer that our indictment — that we work aggressively on it as much as possible. Rivera did so and requested that the Tax Division which is supposed to review all tax cases come to Miami, which is not too unusual. They’ve done onsite reviews on many cases, come to Miami to do the review or however that process works. I believe they did that at Mr. Mueller’s urging or at our request. In any event, they did it and we planned to indict on August 23, which is a Friday. This grand jury had received substantial information. This was the grand jury that was handling BCCI… I received a phone call a little bit before noon on August 22 from Denis Saylor who indicated to me that I was directed not to return the BCCI indictment. And I asked who was directing me not to return it, and he said Attorney General William Barr.” (Former US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Dexter Lehtinen, May 1992).
He also supported Iran Contra pardons, as Bush Senior’s AG: “William Barr Supported Pardons In An Earlier D.C. ‘Witch Hunt’: Iran-Contra” January 14, 2019, 5:01 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition, by Carrie Johnson https://www.npr.org/2019/01/14/684553791/william-barr-supported-pardons-in-an-earlier-d-c-witch-hunt-iran-contra
So many of the actors are present from the Reagan Bush admins; BCCI, and Iran-Contra. Therein appears to lie the real answers to what’s going on today. A major clue appears to be BCCI’s connection to both the CIA and the Soviet Union – see further below.
Excerpted from “THE BCCI AFFAIR , S. Hrg. 102-350, Pt. 5
HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM, NARCOTICS, AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SECOND CONGRESS
SECOND SESSION MAY 14, 1992 PART 5, starting on p. 63:
Letter #11 — August 22, 1991, to Saylor (DOJ), from Lehtinen, re:
confirming Barr’s order not to indict and statute of limitations
problem; and Letters #11A, #11B, #11C, #11D, #11E, and #11F — to
Terwilliger, Smietanka, Peterson, Bruton, Keeney, and Saylor, from
Lehtinen re: containing letter #11 and outlining statute of limitations problem
(xxxii) “This is to confirm the telephone call which you
placed to me this mernin, in which you indicated that Acting
Attorney General William Barr has directed me not to present the
indictment of BCCI to the grand jury tomorrow (Friday, August
23rd), as had been scheduled.”
[This letter shows an unexplained, out-of -channels order regarding an indictment. Whether or not Tax Division had “concerns”, this letter (and the AG’s order which it reflects) demonstrates that BCCI decisions were not left to be decided on such neutral standards of evidence by those assigned evidentiary review responsibility (i.e., the Tax Division). Instead, BCCI decisions were “politicized” so that Tax Division wouldn’t make a decision and speak to the indicting district without first getting clearance from the political level of the Department. The point is not whether Tax Division really had “concerns”, but rathern that Tax Division wasn’t the decision-maker at all and wasn’t allowed to communicate it — the issue was removed from Tax and sent to political levels.]…
Senator Brown. If you would, tell us about the August 22 letter and what your thought was behind that communication.
Mr. Lehtinen. Mr. Rivera was proceeding as aggressively as possible on a potential tax indictment of BCCI. In or around late July or early August, Mr. Mueller indicated to Mr. Rivera and to me as well that they would prefer that our indictment — that we work aggressively on it as much as possible. Rivera did so and requested that the Tax Division which is supposed to review all tax cases come to Miami, which is not too unusual. They’ve done onsite reviews on many cases, come to Miami to do the review or however that process works. I believe they did that at Mr. Mueller’s urging or at our request. In any event, they did it and we planned to indict on August 23, which is a Friday. This grand jury had received substantial information. This was the grand jury that was handling BCCI.
They put different witnesses into the grand jury periodically, and several weeks before that, we set August 23 as the date and expected to indict on August 23 and underwent onsite review and Assistant United States Attorney Rivera, Mary Butler, and others, working with the onsite people, said that we would be able to go on August 23. That the onsite reviews were going well, and we would have no problem meeting the deadline.
On August 22, the assistant U.S. attorneys told me the case could go August 23, that they did not believe there was a problem with the onsite review and so the case was, from my viewpoint, set to go. What that means in that particular case was simply that the indictment, often called a draft indictment, but at that point the indictment that the district was satisfied with, called draft until the day it’s signed by the grand jury foreman.
The indictment would be presented to the grand jury, read, discussed, maybe only one or two very short fact witnesses, because all the predicate was essentially in the grand jury, and it would probably have been voted out before noon. In other words, it was simply a presentation of the indictment, and you weren’t starting from scratch. So all we had left, in other words, was to present the written indictment and have the grand jury vote on it.
I received a phone call a little bit before noon on August 22 from Denis Saylor who indicated to me that I was directed not to return the BCCI indictment. And I asked who was directing me not to return it, and he said Attorney General William Barr. I asked why we weren’t returning the indictment, if it was tax, tax was onsite and tax would talk to us. I mean, if the Tax Division had an evidentiary problem, Tax Division onsite would simply say no.
I asked, why are we being told this way not to indict, and he said he didn’t know, but that I was scheduled for other reasons — BCCI — on a preset meeting to be in Washington Monday, August 26 and I could ask then…” See: https://archive.org/stream/BCCIHearingsBeforeTheTerrorismNarcoticsAndInternationalOperationsOfTheCommitteeOnForeignRelations/BCCI%20Hearings%20before%20the%20Terrorism%2C%20Narcotics%2C%20and%20International%20Operations%20of%20the%20Committee%20on%20Foreign%20Relations%20Volume%205
Additional context, excerpted from
“The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown December 1992 102d Congress 2d Session Senate Print 102-140:
“The Miami Investigation
By the latter part of 1989 another investigation of BCCI had been launched, in the Southern District of Florida under the direction of US Attorney Dexter Lehtinen.(78) The Miami investigation centered on the theory that BCCI could be indicted for various tax frauds. It was Lehtinen’s belief that this case would not be barred by double jeopardy, because it involved different facts from the Tampa case, and because the Miami office had refused to participate in the plea agreement with BCCI. Lehtinen testified that the investigation was “an important matter . . . a priority matter.”(79)
At the time Lehtinen was also investigating David Paul’s dealings in Miami’s largest Savings & Loan, CenTrust, which had a variety of ties to BCCI and in which BCCI held a secret interest of 25 percent through its nominee, Ghaith Pharaon. Lehtinen described to the Subcommittee the strategy behind his two-track investigation and the aggressiveness with which his assistants moved to make the case against the bank:
“CenTrust was alleged to have had some relationships to BCCI, and so we had two teams which would issue what would you call BCCI subpoenas. One team would issue BCCI subpoenas on behalf of its CenTrust investigation, one would issue BCCI subpoenas on behalf of its BCCI investigation.”(80)
Lehtinen explained that the case was “records intensive,” which made the subpoenas vitally important. (81)
In late 1990 and early 1991, Lehtinen’s office issued a series of subpoenas pursuant to the CenTrust and BCCI investigations. Many of the subpoenas were to BCCI in other countries for records and documents that had been moved from the Miami branch.(82) As Lehtinen described the subpoenas, “[they] never mentioned foreign countries.”(83) The investigators in Miami, however, were frustrated when BCCI asserted the bank secrecy laws of foreign jurisdictions. Lehtinen’s assistants then proposed to seek compulsion through the courts to have the records located abroad produced. Lehtinen told Senator Brown, “[O]ur circuit, the Eleventh circuit is very clear, those subpoenas will be enforced. Some other circuits are a little bit different, but our circuit is very aggressive.”(84)
Before proceeding, however, Lehtinen’s office was first required to have authorization from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. However, according to Lehtinen, the response from the Justice Department was that they would not authorize enforcement of the subpoenas.(85) Lehtinen told the Subcommittee that he didn’t “recall a specific reason for the refusal.”
Ultimately, with the assistance of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard, the US Attorney’s office in Miami did seek compulsion for enforcement to two of the subpoenas, one in the United Arab Emirates and one in Panama. When BCCI continued to refuse to comply with the two subpoenas, the bank was fined $50,000 a day, until seven days later, when it capitulated and supplied the records.(86)
Lehtinen and his assistants continued to urge the Department of Justice to assist in the enforcement of the other subpoenas. By August, 1991, following the Morgenthau indictment, the Justice Department began a series of meetings in an effort to move more swiftly against BCCI. In one such meeting at Justice in Washington, Lehtinen again raised the issue of the failure to enforce his subpoenas in response to Assistant Attorney General Mueller’s offer to provide assistance to any US Attorney office pursuing a case against BCCI. Despite Mueller’s offer, no assistance was forthcoming and the subpoenas continued to languish, leaving Lehtinen perplexed:
[E]xactly why the Department of Justice handles matters as they do is — whatever factors they take into account are not particularly known to us in Miami in all circumstances. We in Miami wanted all of those steps taken that we proposed. They were not taken and we are just not able to say why.(87)
Despite the problems with not having the subpoenas enforced, Lehtinen’s office continued to pursue the investigation of BCCI for tax fraud. Lehtinen testified that in his meeting with Assistant Attorney General Mueller in early August, Mueller encouraged him to “work aggressively on it as much as possible.”(88) By the third week in August, Lehtinen was ready to move forward with an indictment after having been notified by his assistants that “there was no problem with the on-site review by the Justice department’s tax division. Then, suddenly, on August 22, Dennis Saylor, chief assistant to Assistant Attorney General Mueller, called Lehtinen and, according to the US Attorney, “indicated to me that I was directed not to return the indictment.”(89) As Lehtinen testified:
[I] asked who was requesting me not to return it, and he said [Acting] Attorney General William Barr. I asked why we weren’t returning the indictment, if it was tax, tax was on-site and tax would talk to us. . . I asked, why we are being told this way not to indict, and he said he didn’t know. . . (90)
Lehtinen thought that it was strange that he would be receiving a telephone call from “non-tax” people telling not to proceed.(91)…” https://fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/08just.htm
BCCI and CIA, excerpt. Notice the reference to murdered journalist Khashoggi’s uncle and to the USSR. Remember that Trump dined, at least once, at the home of Khashoggi’s uncle in NYC : “In the case of BCCI, former CIA officials, including former CIA director Richard Helms and the late William Casey; former and current foreign intelligence officials, including Kamal Adham and Abdul Raouf Khalil; and principal foreign agents of the U.S., such as Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar, float in and out of BCCI at critical times in its history, and participate simultaneously in the making of key episodes in U.S. foreign policy, ranging from the Camp David peace talks to the arming of Iran as part of the Iran/Contra affair. As early as the mid-1980’s, sources in the United Kingdom were alleging that BCCI was providing services not only to the CIA, but to intelligence agencies of a number of countries, including the Soviet Union.” https://fas.org/irp/congress/1992_rpt/bcci/11intel.htm
Recent William Barr Memo re Trump obstruction of justice:
William Barr, along with many members of the Trump Admin have worked for Kirkland and Ellis, which has also represented Jeff Epstein. It is a huge law firm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkland_%26_Ellis