Michael Flynn’s ex-business partner Bijan Kian was found guilty Tuesday of acting as an unregistered foreign agent and engaging in a conspiracy, various reports from The Washington Post, CNN and others indicated.
Kian helped draft Flynn’s November 2016 editorial in The Hill that called for the United States to remove Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen from the country. That op-ed raised concerns about Flynn’s failure to register as a foreign agent, and eventually Kian and Ekim Alptekin were indicted in December.
Atkpekin’s company, prosecutors alleged, offered Flynn and Kian’s company three $200,000 payments for their work.
Prosecutors initially planned to use Flynn as a witness against Kian, but that changed when Flynn hired a new legal team. Kian’s case originated in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Recently, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga, the Trump appointee presiding over the case, expressed skepticism over prosecutors’ evidence, leaving open the possibility that he could toss the case against Kian.
“There are very substantial issues as to the sufficiency of the evidence,” Trenga said in court, per various reports. “It’s all very, very circumstantial. Much of it is very speculative.” Per the Post, Trenga reiterated that point Tuesday.
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