Three of the top men at the U.S. Department of Justice who have been involved in negotiations as to whether Goldman Sachs, for the first time in its history, will be charged with a criminal felony and hit with a multi-billion dollar fine, received large sums of money from the law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, before joining the Trump administration. Kirkland & Ellis is the law firm defending Goldman Sachs in the criminal case.
The top dog at the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr, worked as “Of Counsel” to Kirkland & Ellis prior to joining the Justice Department. Barr’s financial disclosure form shows that Kirkland & Ellis paid him $1,188,257 and a $50,000 bonus for 2018.
Brian Benczkowski, who stepped down last Friday as head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, indicates on his financial disclosure form that he received a salary and bonus from Kirkland & Ellis of $847,500. Benczkowski joined the Justice Department in July 2018 and had worked at Kirkland & Ellis since 2010.
Love this one….
Both Barr and Benczkowski state in their financial disclosure forms that they would continue to participate in the Kirkland & Ellis Defined Contribution Plan but that the law firm would no longer make contributions on their behalf to the plan.
But wait, the battle has begun…
Attorney General Barr now appears to be frantically rearranging the deck chairs on the Goldman Sachs 1MDB Titanic. Around 9 p.m. on Friday evening, June 19, Barr released a statement announcing that Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney (i.e. top federal prosecutor) for the Southern District of New York (where Goldman Sachs is headquartered), would be “stepping down.”
There were a number of defects in Barr’s announcement, which quickly became clear. First, Berman had no intention of “stepping down,” and released his own statement later that evening to that effect. Secondly, Barr was planning to break with protocol and not allow Berman’s Deputy to fill the slot until Clayton could be confirmed by the Senate.
Adding to the suspicions that this move was connected to the 1MDB matter, Clayton’s former law firm of two decades, Sullivan & Cromwell, was also up to its ears in representing Goldman Sachs in the criminal investigation.
Second battle won…
With that as a backdrop, consider what just happened quietly on the eve of the 4th of July weekend. Barr removed the other top federal prosecutor in New York – this time in the very U.S. Attorney’s office that is prosecuting the 1MDB case against the two Goldman Sachs bankers as well as conducting the ongoing investigation.
There is more, but if you want to follow along when the final battle read the whole article. What’s the next battle? Jacquelyn…
On the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York’s website, it says this about Jacquelyn Kasulis, Chief of their Criminal Division: “Jackie led the Office’s investigation and prosecution of three individuals, including two former Goldman Sachs bankers and a wealthy Malaysian financier for their participation in a multi-billion dollar money laundering and bribery conspiracy related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (l MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund.”
Read it and weep.
Here it is:
Good luck Jacquelyn!
The outcome determines whether we are still a democracy or a financial oligarchy! No pressure Jacquelyn.
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