The deal avoids a trial that would have cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton over the arming of Anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya.
The Obama administration and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed a motion to dismiss charges against an arms dealer whom they had accused of selling weapons destined for Libyan rebels. The arms dealer in question was Marc Turi, an American citizen, whose lawyers also signed the motion – officially ending the case. According to Politico, the deal avoids a trial that could have focused unwanted, negative attention on Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State as Turi had “threatened to expose” the CIA and State Department’s attempts to arm Islamic extremists opposing late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. This may explain why the official motion says the charges were dismissed “with prejudice” as it was not an ideal scenario for the Obama administration.
It is understandable, however, why both Obama and Clinton wanted to avoid this trial. Turi’s defense team had delved into damning emails acquired from Clinton’s private email server and had also pressed for more documents about the US-backed rebel-arming effort as well as official testimony from employees of the State Department and CIA. At a court hearing in 2015, Turi’s defense team used emails between Clinton and her top aides that indicated the arming of extremist rebels was under discussion at the highest levels of government.
In July, Wikileaks’ editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, suggested that his organization also had emails proving that Clinton had pushed the flow of weapons from Libya to Syria – emails which are soon to be released. The trial had been set to begin on Election Day, though it likely would have been delayed due to disputes over the classified information likely to have been presented in the case.
A State Department official, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed the terms of the deal and said that Turi “had only engaged in brokering activities for the proposed transfer of defense articles [i.e. weapons] to Libya” and that his actions “did not result in an actual transfer of defense articles to Libya.” An advisor to Turi, Robert Stryk, took this as confirmation of his long-held view that the case against Turi was a government attempt to use the arms dealer as a scapegoat in order to cover up Clinton’s mishandling of Libya.
Stryk stated that:
“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 .”
Turi also confirmed in interviews last year that he was aware that the US was actively shipping weapons into Libya during the unrest and then were immediately being diverted to Syria. Appearing on Fox News, he stated that:
“When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way. The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria.”
Clinton said under oath in 2013 that she had “no knowledge” of the weapon shipments into Libya as Secretary of State. Based on this evidence, it seems clear that the timing of the DOJ’s decision was intended to avoid making public information that could damage the Clinton campaign in the month before the US Presidential Election. However, it seems unlikely that Turi will remain silent on the matter as he is now weighing book and movie deals to tell his story and to give his interpretation of the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
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