President Trump referred Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s repeated requests for the U.S. to avoid pressing charges on one of the country's largest banks to Attorney General William Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Bloomberg reports. Trump reportedly told Erdogan in an April call that Barr and Mnuchin would handle the issue, and no charges were pressed against Turkish bank Halkbank until recently. The federal charges only came after Trump announced sanctions against Turkey in retaliation for its incursion into Syria. It is not clear if Trump asked Barr and Mnuchin to comply with Turkey's demands, or if he simply passed the matter on to them because he was tired of hearing the requests.
About two months after the call, Barr reportedly told Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul that he would need to reach a deal with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan for the case or have it go through a trial. The attorney general reportedly advised Turkey on its best option: a deferred prosecution agreement that would require Halkbank to pay a fine and other actions to prevent further wrongdoing. The country ended up not making a deal, and Halkbank was charged earlier this week with “fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offense.” Mnuchin was also reportedly involved due to the Treasury Department's role in determining the regulatory penalties against Halkbank for a separate criminal case involving one of their executives.