Mueller team investigating pre-election meeting between Flynn and 'Putin's favorite congressman'

Violet Powell
November 11, 2017

Flynn, and his son Michael Flynn Jr., would have been paid as much as $15 million to bring Fethullah Gulen to Turkey, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has begun investigating an alleged plot by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to kidnap a Turkish opposition leader living in the U.S.

Flynn's talks with Turkish officials allegedly involved a plan to forcibly take Gulen, who lives in a compound in Monroe County, to a private jet and fly him to the Turkish prison island of Imrali, the Journal reported, citing a person it didn't name. At the time, President-elect Donald Trump already had announced that Flynn, a top campaign supporter and foreign policy aide, would serve as the White House national security adviser.

If Mueller and his team suspect Flynn tried to take official actions to benefit a foreign government, then anyone who tried to impede the investigation into Flynn's alleged misconduct might also face accusations of wrongdoing. What's more, the individuals who were reportedly interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation "didn't attend the December meeting and didn't have direct knowledge" of what transpired there.

All the while new reports regarding the investigation's latest developments continue to turn up, like a recent Wall Street Journal article detailing a lucrative financial deal between the Flynns and Turkey. Friday's report describes a second meeting involving both Flynns at the 21 Club restaurant, a prohibition-era NY speakeasy patronised by Trump, in mid-December.

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That period is a grey area when it comes to paid work for foreign interests, but if the arrangement was carried through past inauguration in January, Flynn could face bribery charges on top of questions of whether the NY conversations represented a conspiracy to carry out a forced extra-judicial rendition of a legal U.S. resident.

The investigation into Flynn is part of Mueller's probe into whether Trump campaign advisers colluded in Russian interference into the 2016 US election.

"The claim made by Mr. Woolsey that General Flynn, or anyone else in attendance, discussed physical removal of Mr. Gulen from the United States during a meeting with Turkish officials in NY is false", Flynn spokesman Price Floyd said in a statement at the time.

Flynn's meeting in December followed one that he attended on September 19, 2016 with two top Turkish government officials, Turkish foreign affairs minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and energy minister Berat Albayrak. But by mid-December Trump had named Flynn national security adviser and he was playing a central role in the transition.

On November 8, Flynn published an op-ed piece in The Hill that called Gulen "a shady Islamic mullah" and a "radical Islamist".

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