A Family Affair: Michael Flynn's Son Finds Himself Wrapped up in Russia Probe

National Security Adviser-designate Michael Flynn arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, for the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

It’s a family affair.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn wins the award for World’s Crappiest Father, hands down.

NBC is reporting that Michael G. Flynn is now a subject of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.


The inquiry into Flynn is focused at least in part on his work with his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, three of the officials said. It’s unclear when the focus on Flynn began.

Flynn’s status as a subject of the Russia investigation widens the publicly known scope of the probe. NBC News has reported that those under investigation have included the elder Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Others under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller include Carter Page, a Trump campaign ally; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser; and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

The younger Flynn has worked closely with his dad on all the questionable projects, including those with Turkey and Russia.

In 2015, he was along for the ride when his dad flew to Moscow, to give a speech at an event for the state-sponsored Russian network, RT.

RT paid for the airfare and accommodations for both Flynns, as well as paying the older Flynn around $34,000 for his speech.

Flynn Intel Group also was paid $530,000 in 2016 for work the Justice Department has said benefited the government of Turkey. The elder Flynn did not register as a foreign lobbyist at the time, but did so retroactively this year. According to his filing with the Justice Department, he was hired by a Turkish businessman to gather information about Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric residing in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating an attempted coup there in July 2016.


Again, that’s more Daddy Flynn than his son, so what’s the problem?

A former business associate of Michael Flynn’s said the younger Flynn had a heavy hand in the day-to-day operations of Flynn Intel Group and served as his father’s chief of staff. Those responsibilities included attending meetings with his father and communicating with prospective clients, the former business associate said.

Several legal experts with knowledge of the investigation have told NBC News they believe Mueller, following a classic prosecutorial playbook, is seeking to compel key players, including Flynn and Manafort, to tell what they know about any possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Mueller has brought onto his team a federal prosecutor known for convincing subjects to turn on associates. Any potential criminal liability for Michael G. Flynn could put added pressure on his father, these legal experts said.

The elder Flynn has agreed to testify, but he’s asked for immunity, that, so far, no one is willing to give. He’s running out of options, but he’s seeking shelter under the Fifth Amendment, so far.

That’s dirty pool, to lean on his kid that way, but then again, the stakes are high.

What’s more, he has not come clean, and the more that comes out, the worse it looks for both of them.

That pressure appeared to mount Wednesday, when House Democrats released information they said confirmed that the elder Flynn omitted from his security clearance renewal application in 2016 that he had traveled to the Middle East in 2015 to meet with foreign leaders about a proposal to partner with Russia in a plan to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.


Yeah. That’s not cool.

In the event that you’re feeling sorry for the kid, think: #Pizzagate.

He pushed that conspiracy theory relentlessly during the election. It eventually got so bad that the campaign sought to put distance between he and themselves.

He’s a big fan of Steve Bannon and still has a social media troll presence.

For as active as he was during the election, and his further involvement with his dad’s company, we can’t say for sure that he’s involved, or if he’s just a small fish that got caught in the big net.


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