- Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan that former White House National Security Adviser Mike Flynn discussed with the Turkish government to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric from the US.
- Flynn and his son were allegedly to be paid as much as $US15 million by the Turkish government.
- Mueller has reportedly compiled enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son, who worked with him on his lobbying work.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating an alleged plan that former White House National Security Adviser Mike Flynn discussed with the Turkish government to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the US in exchange for $US15 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The alleged plan would have involved Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, which views Gulen, whom the US government has refused to extradite, as a political enemy.
Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government reportedly discussed the proposal, which involved flying Gulen on a private jet to a prison on the island of Imrali, during a meeting in mid-December 2016 at the 21 Club in New York City, according to the Journal’s sources.
Mueller, who is charged with investigating “any matters” that arise out of his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Presidend Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, has reportedly compiled enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son, according to NBC News.
The evidence relates to Flynn’s lobbying work throughout the latter half of 2016 — while he was a top Trump campaign surrogate — for a businessman with ties to the Turkish government. Flynn did not register with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent until March 2017, after he was ousted from the White House following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian officials.
Flynn Jr. appears to have been closely associated with his father’s work. In addition to co-founding and working for Flynn Intel Group, he joined his father during a trip to Moscow in December 2015, NBC reported, during which Flynn was paid $US34,000 to deliver a speech at an event celebrating the state-sponsored news agency RT.
Trump waited nearly three weeks to fire Flynn after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned him that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail over his conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
The president also ignored advice from former President Barack Obama, who fired Flynn as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2014, to steer clear of him entirely.
Trump also asked former FBI director James Comey to “let go” of the FBI’s investigation into Flynn’s activities during a February meeting shortly after Flynn was forced to resign.
Natasha Bertrand and Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.
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