Federal prosecutors are taking a close look at the lobbying work that Michael Flynn’s former intelligence firm did on behalf of Turkey’s government, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
A grand jury empaneled in Virginia is sorting through and seeking additional information about the Flynn Intel Group’s efforts to discredit U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, according to the Journal.
Flynn has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller since he pleaded guilty last December to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during the presidential transition. Ahead of his December 18 sentencing, Mueller this week filed a heavily redacted memo recommending that Flynn should serve no jail time thanks to his “substantial” assistance.
The memo noted that Flynn also omitted his lobbying work for Turkey from his application under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Per the Journal, prosecutors are interested in the project Flynn’s firm carried out on behalf of Turkey while Flynn served as an adviser to the Trump campaign. Members of Flynn Intel Group created negative PR materials about Gulen and reportedly discussed an elaborate plot to kidnap the Pennsylvania-based cleric and spirit him back to his home country.
Turkey’s government blames Gulen for a 2016 failed coup attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Ergodan.
Prosecutors are reportedly seeking information on the activities and involvement of the Turkish businessman who paid $530,000 for the Gulen project, Ekim Alptekin. They’re also interested in Flynn’s former partner at the firm, Bijan Kian. Neither man provided comment to the Journal.