Feds Probe Influence Of Flynn’s Turkey Lobbying On Military Decisions

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, U.S. Army (ret), speaks during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Russia isn’t the only country causing headaches for the Trump administration. The federal investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn is closely scrutinizing whether his lobbying work for Turkey influenced military decisions he made in the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper obtained a copy of a grand jury subpoena issued to one of Flynn’s business associates by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which involves his $600,000 contract with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to lobby for improved relations between the U.S. and Turkey.

McClatchy revealed this week that Flynn put a hold on a military operation against the Islamic State that involved arming Kurdish forces—a move Turkey opposed.

Because Flynn was so hawkish about the need to combat the threat posed by ISIL, his decision prompts questions about whether it was influenced by his hefty lobbying fees.

Federal investigators are looking into whether other military determinations Flynn made during the transition and his tenure as national security adviser were swayed by funds he received from Turkey and Russia, according to the Journal.

The retired lieutenant general reportedly told the transition team that he was under investigation for his lobbying work weeks before inauguration, but the White House insists they knew nothing about it at the time.

Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent after he was dismissed for misleading senior administration officials about his private conversations with Russian officials.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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