The special counsel is investigating a pre-inauguration meeting between former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and dozens of foreign diplomats and officials, the Daily Beast reported Monday.
The probe reportedly comes as part of a broader investigation into pay-for-play at the inauguration, and into whether the inaugural committee misappropriated the record $107 million it purportedly took in from donors.
The meeting in question occurred on Jan. 18 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu — who later surfaced in an influence-peddling scheme involving Flynn — referenced the meeting on Twitter at the time:
Met w/General Flynn,who will assume the position of National Security Advisor, and other officials at a working breakfast in Washington D.C.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) January 18, 2017
According to the Daily Beast, Çavuşoğlu was joined by representatives of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Israel, Estonia, Angola, Japan, Denmark and more. The breakfast took place the morning after the pre-inaugural Global Chairman’s Dinner, hosted for foreign diplomats to have an opportunity to meet the incoming president.
Nunes quickly became one of Trump’s staunchest defenders on Capitol Hill, using his investigative powers as the then-head of the House Intelligence Committee to block requests from democratic members for oversight while pushing a separate narrative of so-called “Deep State” overreach apparently aimed at overshadowing the Russia inquiry.
In a Tuesday morning appearance on Fox, Nunes said, in response to a question about the story, that his “job is to meet with foreigner dignitaries.” He added, “During inauguration week there were numerous events I attended.”
A Republican fundraising organization called the Pluvious Group helped put on the breakfast meeting, the website reported. Pluvious is owned by California Republican fundraiser Matthew Jubitz, who worked as the Romney campaign’s top Los Angeles fundraiser.
The investigation comes amid probes into whether or not another Los Angeles-based Republican fundraiser — Elliott Broidy — peddled access to the administration to foreign officials.