President Trump’s disgraced National Security Advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn, is under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for conspiring with a foreign government to kidnap a private citizen and transport him to Turkey against his will in exchange for $15 million dollars.
Flynn was operating an unregistered agent of the Republic of Turkey while he served as a key advisor and public surrogate for the Donald Trump For President campaign last year. Former CIA Director James Woolsey was invited to a meeting with Flynn and his Turkish contacts last September and told CNN that the subject of kidnapping and sending Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen was discussed.
Today’s report that Special Counsel Mueller is probing these meetings ups the ante considerably on the level of Flynn’s potential misconduct, since it isn’t just related to his time on the Trump Campaign, but extends into the transition period and potentially even his time in the federal government. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have asked at least four individuals about a meeting in mid-December at the ‘21’ Club in New York City, where Mr. Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed removing Mr. Gulen, according to people with knowledge of the FBI’s inquiries. The discussions allegedly involved the possibility of transporting Mr. Gulen on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali, according to one of the people who has spoken to the FBI.
Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames Gülen, who has been living in Pennsylvania for health reasons since 1999, for his political woes at home and falsely accuses him of masterminding last year’s attempted coup.
General Flynn accepted over $500,000 to secretly represent Turkey’s interests while working as a major part of the Trump campaign last year, which was made obvious when he submitted an election day op-editorial to The Hill painting Gülen as a “radical Islamist.”
The Turkish money he accepted is in addition to the payments Flynn accepted from Russian interests and his clandestine plan to pitch hairbrained Saudi-Russian nuclear deal in 2015.
The fired National Security Advisor’s failure to disclose his payments and operating as an agent of a foreign power while working for their political benefit is a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which he acknowledged by later filing paperwork with the Department of Justice.
Fellow Trump campaign alums Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have both been indicted by Special Counsel Mueller for failure to register under FARA and then making false statements in their subsequent filings.
However, the Journal’s revelation of a major eight-figure payoff being discussed by Flynn within a month of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President and his subsequent elevation to National Security Advisor means that there may have been a major crime attempted from the White House earlier this year to benefit Turkey.
The temptation of a $15 million dollar bribe also paints President Trump’s requests to ‘let Flynn go’ directed over candlelight dinner in January to then-FBI Director James Comey in an entirely new light.
These allegations could ultimately strengthen the Special Counsel’s case that President Trump committed a grave obstruction of justice in an attempt to shield Flynn from his obsession with earning Turkish money, even discussing a quid pro quo to earn millions in exchange for illegal official actions.
UPDATE: Business Insider reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) attended a breakfast event with Turkey’s Foreign Minister and General Flynn at the Trump Hotel only two days before the presidential inauguration.
The California Republican pretended to recuse himself from the House Intel Committee’s investigation but returned with a vengeance over the summer. Nunes has spent the remainder of this year attempting to provide President Trump with distraction, after distraction, and yet more distractions from Congressional Trump Russia investigations.
Rep. Nunes was a member of the Trump Transition team alongside General Flynn, which is also under national security investigation by Special Counsel Mueller.
Watch former FBI Director James Comey explain how Trump asked him to ‘Let Flynn Go’: