Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted.
“Coffee boy” George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI officials about his conversations with foreign players.
Now it may be time for the other shoe to drop, in what may be many shoes (Senator John McCain referred to it as a centipede).
According to NBC News, special counsel Robert Mueller now has enough evidence to bring federal charges against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn.
According to sources, the indictment of Manafort and news of Papadopoulos’ guilty plea were just the shots across the bow, to signal what was coming, as Mueller’s investigation seems to now be picking up speed.
The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn’s lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.
Mueller’s team is also examining whether Flynn attempted to orchestrate the removal of a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, two officials said.
Flynn’s son could be indicted at the same time, but the sources are suggesting that the elder Flynn could potentially help his son, as well as himself, by working with the investigators.
Another point of interest is that if Flynn is indicted, he’ll be the first official Trump administration member to be indicted. With Manafort and Papadopoulos, they were just campaign team members.
Flynn was only a part of the administration for a bit over 3 weeks before his entanglements with foreign governments caught up to him, and he was forced to resign for lying about them.
A former senior law enforcement official said that in the weeks after Trump’s inauguration the FBI was asked to conduct a new review of Turkey’s 2016 request to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an elderly Muslim cleric living in the U.S. whom President Erdogan blames for orchestrating a coup to overthrow him.
The FBI pushed back on the request because Turkey had supplied no additional information that could incriminate Gulen since a review of the case during the Obama administration, the official said. It is unclear whether the request to investigate Gulen came from Flynn or through the typical diplomatic channels at the State Department.
The FBI is also investigating former CIA Director Jim Woolsey’s account to the Wall Street Journal — which he confirmed to MSNBC — that Flynn and Turkish officials discussed a potential plan to forcibly remove Gulen from the country in September 2016, according to sources close to Woolsey, who say the former director has spoken to FBI agents working for Mueller about the matter.
Flynn was forced out of the top spot with the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. He retired, then formed his own lobbying firm, where his son was also employed as his chief of staff.
Where he stumbled into sketchy territory with the U.S. government was when he was paid $530,000 in 2016 for work that benefited the Turkish government, without registering as a foreign agent.
He did so earlier this year.
According to Flynn’s Justice Department filing, the Flynn Intel Group was hired to gather information about Gulen, and to produce a short film about its findings.
During the contract, which ended the day after Trump won the election, Flynn had at least one meeting, in September 2016, with Turkish officials, according to officials. Woolsey says that it included a discussion about kidnapping Gulen and flying him to Turkey.
I don’t know a lot about lobbying, admittedly, but is kidnapping part of how it’s done?
Flynn also was paid some $35,000 in 2015 by Russian state television for a speech in Moscow at a gala where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The younger Flynn accompanied him on that trip. The trip raised concerns among federal officials.
Flynn and his son were both very vocal and active supporters of Donald Trump’s during the election season. That’s not the problem. The problem, of course, is all the baggage he seemed to be carrying along the campaign trail with him.
Flynn, of course, was the one who started the chants of “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton, rousing the crowds at rallies and even at the RNC convention in Cleveland last year.
And while I wholly agree with the sentiment of Hillary Clinton paying for a host of crimes against this nation, Flynn probably shouldn’t have been the one pushing that mantra.
He just looks stupid, now.