[Rushtalk] More work for Trump to do undoing Obama

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at juno.com
Sat Sep 15 09:31:29 MDT 2018



Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged broker of Libyan weapons 

Arms dealer had threatened to expose Hillary Clinton’s talks about
arming anti-Qadhafi rebels.


By KENNETH P. VOGEL and JOSH GERSTEIN

10/04/2016 04:45 PM EDT

Updated 10/05/2016 11:16 AM EDT

2016-10-05T11:16-0400  Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 
The Obama administration is moving to dismiss charges against an arms
dealer it had accused of selling weapons that were destined for Libyan
rebels.

Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal
court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American
named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.

Story Continued Below


The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on
Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose
reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting
Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

Government lawyers were facing a Wednesday deadline to produce documents
to Turi’s legal team, and the trial was officially set to begin on
Election Day, although it likely would have been delayed by protracted
disputes about classified information in the case.

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because
the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack
Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration
in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist
militants.

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“They don’t want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad
for Obama and Clinton just before the election,” said the associate.

In the dismissal motion, prosecutors say “discovery rulings” from U.S.
District Court Judge David Campbell contributed to the decision to drop
the case. The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential
agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the
State Department and the arms broker.

“Our position from the outset has been that this case never should have
been brought and we’re glad it’s over,” said Jean-Jacques Cabou, a
Perkins Coie partner serving as court-appointed defense counsel in the
case. “Mr Turi didn’t break the law….We’re very glad the charges are
being dismissed.”

Under the deal, Turi admits no guilt in the transactions he participated
in, but he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four
years. A $200,000 civil penalty will be waived if Turi abides by the
agreement.

A State Department official confirmed the outlines of the agreement.

“Mr. Turi cooperated with the Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade
Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the
alleged violations,” said the official, who asked not be named. “Based
on a compliance review, DDTC alleged that Mr. Turi…engaged in brokering
activities for the proposed transfer of defense articles to Libya, a
proscribed destination under [arms trade regulations,] despite the
Department’s denial of…requests for the required prior approval of such
activities.” 

Turi adviser Robert Stryk of the government relations and consulting
firm SPG accused the government of trying to scapegoat Turi to cover up
Clinton’s mishandling of Libya.

“The U.S. government spent millions of dollars, went all over the world
to bankrupt him, and destroyed his life — all to protect Hillary
Clinton’s crimes,” he said, alluding to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012
terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 

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Republicans hold Clinton responsible for mishandling the circumstances
around that attack. And Stryk said that Turi was now weighing book and
movie deals to tell his story, and to weigh in on the Benghazi attack.

Representatives of the Justice Department, the White House and Clinton’s
presidential campaign either declined to comment or did not respond to
requests for comment on the case or the settlement.

Turi was indicted in 2014 on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in
violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State
Department in official applications. The charges accused Turi of
claiming that the weapons involved were destined for Qatar and the
United Arab Emirates, when the arms were actually intended to reach
Libya.

Turi’s lawyers argued that the shipments were part of a U.S.
government-authorized effort to arm Libyan rebels.

It’s unclear if any of the weapons made it to Libya, and there’s no
evidence linking weapons provided by the U.S. government to the Benghazi
attacks.

“The proposal did not result in an actual transfer of defense articles
to Libya,” the State Department official told POLITICO on Tuesday.

But questions about U.S. efforts to arm Libyan rebels have been
mounting, since weapons have reportedly made their way from Libya to
Syria, where a civil war is raging between the Syrian Government and
ISIL-aligned fighters.

In an interview last year, Turi said the U.S. was aware that weapons
being shipped into Libya during the unrest there were being immediately
diverted to Syria.

"When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half
went the other way," Turi said in an interview broadcast on Fox Business
Channel. "The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in
Syria."

Turi also said he came up with an idea he termed "zero footprint," where
the U.S. would send weapons to Libyan rebels through Arab countries,
like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

During 2013 Senate hearings on the 2012 Benghazi attack, Clinton, under
questioning from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), said she had no knowledge
of weapons moving from Libya into Turkey, for ultimate transfer to
Syria.

Wikileaks head Julian Assange in July suggested that he had emails
proving that Clinton “pushed” the “flows” of weapons “going over to
Syria.”

Additionally, Turi’s case had delved into emails sent to and from the
controversial private account that Clinton used as Secretary of State,
which the defense planned to harness at any trial.

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At a court hearing in 2015, Cabou said emails between Clinton and her
top aides indicated that efforts to arm the rebels were — at a minimum —
under discussion at the highest levels of the government.

“We're entitled to tell the jury, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the
Secretary of State and her highest staff members were actively
contemplating providing exactly the type of military assistance that Mr.
Turi is here to answer for,” the defense attorney said, according to a
transcript.

Turi’s defense was pressing for more documents about the alleged
rebel-arming effort and for testimony from officials who worked on the
issue for the State Department and the CIA. The defense said it planned
to argue that Turi believed he had official permission to work on arms
transfers to Libya

“If we armed the rebels, as publicly reported in many, many sources and
as we strongly believe happened and as we believe at least one witness
told the grand jury, then documents about that process relate to that
effort,” Cabou told Campbell at the same hearing last year.


https://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/marc-turi-libyan-rebels-hillary-clinton-229115

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