04.17.2015 0

Did Jamie Gorelick violate Iran sanctions?

Suicide USA NRD 600

By Rick Manning

What did Jamie Gorelick know, and when did she know it?

On March 25, 2015, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., pled guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by engaging in illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan in violation of sanctions against those two regimes.

Schlumberger, originally a French company, but now registered in the Netherlands and based out of Houston, Texas, had to pay a $232.7 million penalty to the government as a result of the criminal trading with Iran and Sudan, both of whom are listed as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. State Department.

The penalty included a $77.5 million criminal forfeiture and an additional $155.1 million criminal fine for activities from early 2004 and continuing through June 2010.  It was just chump change for the company, however, since it represented just 0.19 percent of the company’s $118.7 billion market cap.

Jamie Gorelick, a former Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration, served on Schlumberger’s board from 2002 until, curiously, June 3, 2010, covering the entire period of illicit Iran and Sudan trade. The resignation reportedly came so she, via her law firm WilmerHale whom she has partnered with since 2003, could represent BP in its Gulf of Mexico oil spill case.

The joint probe into Schlumberger began in 2009 by the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and the Dallas Field Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

No criminal prosecutions of company officials were pursued. But there could have been. According to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act: “A person who willfully commits, willfully attempts to commit, or willfully conspires to commit, or aids or abets in the commission of, an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.”

But why were there no criminal charges? Doing trade with America’s enemies is pretty serious business. Also, consider the illegal activities occurred during a period of time, 2004 to 2010, when Iran was known to be fighting a proxy war against the U.S. in Iraq — resulting in U.S. service personnel being maimed and killed in action by improvised explosive devices and other Iranian-made weapons.

Perhaps it has something to do with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia who handled the case, Ronald Machen, an Obama appointee. That’s right, the same U.S. Attorney who failed to prosecute Lois Lerner, and failed to do anything about Benghazi

Or rather, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

You see, a week after the Shlumberger guilty plea, Machen resigned from his position effective April 1, 2015.

On April 2, Machen was hired by WilmerHale. That’s right, the same aforementioned WilmerHale, the law firm where Gorelick, former board member of Schlumberger, is a partner.

Curiouser and curiouser. Could all just be a bunch of oddly-timed coincidences. That’s probably it.

Perhaps some committee in Congress should find out why Justice Department officials are letting a company trading with Tehran in violation of economic sanctions, whose board included a prominent former Justice Department official, essentially off the hook with no criminal prosecutions. Maybe call Machen and Gorelick to testify.

Was Machen seeking employment at WilmerHale prior to the guilty plea? Was Machen aware that Gorelick had served as a Schlumberger board member covering the period of the trading with Iran and Sudan? Was Gorelick aware her company was unlawfully trading with Iran and Sudan?

Finally, perhaps somebody should ask why this guilty plea slap on the wrist came out just days before the U.S. and Iran announced a deal on April 2 that will result in the end of sanctions against the terror sponsor.  Another coincidence? Perhaps, but it certainly might give somebody the idea that there is more to the Obama Administration’s opposition to Iranian sanctions than simply brokering a nuclear deal.

On second thought, the whole thing stinks. Unleash the hounds.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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