Leaked letter by AG Loretta Lynch
Also this week, a February 19, 2015 letter by AG Loretta Lynch to Pinto's NYC attorneys was leaked by alternative media. [xvi]
Figure: February 19, 2015 letter by US AG Loretta Lynch to Rabbi Pinto's NYC attorney, confirming that Pinto reported to FBI funds transferred to Israel Police National Fraud Investigations Unit Head Ephraim Bracha. The Israeli justice system is locking arms in efforts to deny this part of the corruption scandal. Lynch's letter is seen as a reprisal for Israeli government and law enforcement efforts to undermine the corruption investigation against former US Congressman Michael Grimm.
The Lynch letter confirms that Pinto reported to FBI in 2011 and 2012 on funds he transferred to officer Bracha, long before the investigation in Israel on bribing senior Israel Police officers was launched. At that time, Pinto was investigated by FBI relative to illegal campaign financing of former US Congressman (R-NY) Michael Grimm. Grimm was later convicted and resigned from Congress.
Israeli justice and law enforcement agencies, including Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein (a personal appointment of Netanyahu, and reputed for covering up various government corruption scandals) and Israeli State Prosecution refuse to investigate Pinto's claims against Bracha. On the contrary, Bracha was the central witness in Pinto's criminal prosecution, claiming that Pinto tried to bribe him, which he refused...
The letter was sought by Pinto's attorneys as proof that Pinto transferred large sums to Bracha on several occasions in previous years, and that Pinto reported these transfers in FBI investigation. Pinto claims that the transfers were part of his charitable work for an officer in distress...
The letter was released by Pinto's attorney, claiming that although its copy was forwarded also to the Israeli State Prosecution, its existence has never been disclosed in the criminal prosecution and earlier media reports. Obviously, the letter undermines the credibility of Bracha, the central witness in Pinto's criminal prosecution, raises concerns of obstruction of justice by the State Prosecution, and calls into question Bracha's competence to continue serving as Head of the Israel Police National Fraud Investigations Unit.
Lynch's letter obviously pokes the Israeli justice system in the eye... It is largely seen as reprisal for the attempts by Israel Police and an unnamed former Israeli cabinet member to undermine the FBI investigation against US Congressman Michael Grimm, by pressuring Pinto at the time not to cooperate with FBI. [xvii]
Transcripts of Israel Police investigation of Pinto
In this weekend's magazine, Haaretz published information from leaked transcripts of Israel Police investigations, which confronted Pinto and Bracha. [xviii] Haaretz describes the explosion of the 20 year long close and loving relationship between Pinto and Bracha "criminal drama of the year".
Pinto (yelling loudly): You are a liar, lie. I swear on the bible that I gave you $60,000.
Bracha (yelling loudly): Lie!
Pinto: Liar, fraudster, crook... I swear to God... I also took the polygraph.
Bracha: I am ready.
Pinto: Then go do it... You spilled my blood for a promotion.
According to Haaretz, the transcripts and memos indicate that Pinto had routine knowledge of the most confidential, high level investigations of the Israel Police, apparently derived from a number of sources. Pinto was also repeatedly involved in police investigations -- relative to his claims of extortion against him, relative to explosive thrown at his home, and finally -- relative to a large-scale fraud and tax evasion investigation against him. It was at that point that Bracha apparently tried to distance himself from Pinto, and eventually turned him in on an attempt to bribe him (reported only 8 days after the fact).
The recordings also reveal suggestions of Pinto's involvement in top level Israel Police appointments, which was also rumored in the past. Pinto, on his part, repeatedly expressed his ambitions to become Israeli Chief Rabbi. The final transfer of the bribes money (claimed to be $200,000), intended to resolve Pinto's fraud and tax-evasion investigation was transacted between the two wives, secretly recorded.
According to media reports, Pinto's attorneys warned the State authorities that the prosecution would unveil deeply embarrassing picture of the Israeli justice system. Indeed, the authorities ended up signing a plea bargain deal with Pinto, according to which the investigations were limited, the secretive indictment was limited in scope, and the maximum penalty for the serious crimes was set to one year imprisonment. The Movement for Quality Government in Israel petitioned the Supreme Court to void the plea bargain agreement, but the petition was denied. [xix]
Other high level corruption investigations, including that of Menashe Arbiv, Head of "the Israeli FBI" himself, of former IDF Chief of Staff Gabby Ashkenazy, [xx] and of senior former Netanyahu coalition partners [xxi] are left in unknown status. Complaints of evidence of Netanyahu's direct involvement in organized crime in the Tax Authority are clearly not going to be investigated. [xxii]