Top Dem Wants Info On Flynn’s Foreign Contacts From Ex-Business Partner

Tony Brown, Imajination Photography, Facebook user: Nowruz Commission
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The House Oversight Committee wants to review any information that ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn’s former business partner may have about the retired lieutenant general’s foreign contacts.

In a Thursday letter, the top Democrat on the committee requested that Bijan Kian turn over “all documents and communications” related to Flynn’s work-related “foreign person contacts,” “professional work relationships with foreign businesses” and foreign travel.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wants all of that information by Aug. 16 as part of the committee’s probe into the lobbying work that Kian and Flynn’s intelligence consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, did for foreign clients. One major project carried out during the campaign was later determined to principally benefit the government of Turkey.

Both Flynn and Kian retroactively registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for that project, which Kian reportedly spearheaded.

As Cummings notes in his letter, Kian, who served as a personal reference for Flynn when he filed for a security clearance reinvestigation in early 2016, told FBI investigators at the time that Flynn “did not have foreign government connections.”

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), did not co-sign Cummings’ letter.

Federal investigators are also interested in the role Kian played in the lobbying work, Reuters reported in June. The Iranian-American businessman was responsible for securing and managing the day-to-day details of this project on behalf of Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman. Flynn Intel Group received $530,000 for this contract, which brought Flynn under the scrutiny of Justice Department officials concerned that he did not properly file under FARA.

Flynn was ultimately asked to resign from the Trump administration for his failure to properly disclose his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign, as well as payments he received from Russian companies and Alptekin.

Kian has not spoken out since the investigation into Flynn became public.

Read Cummings’ letter below:

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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