This is real Jason Bourne-hot thriller plot-government corruption material, here.
According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr. are under investigation by Robert Mueller’s team for an alleged plot to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and hand him over to Turkey for a multimillion dollar bounty.
Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
This has everything, including unscrupulous operatives meeting in the dark corners of some tucked away nightclub and plotting their criminal machinations.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have asked at least four individuals about a meeting in mid-December at the ‘21’ Club in New York City, where Mr. Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed removing Mr. Gulen, according to people with knowledge of the FBI’s inquiries. The discussions allegedly involved the possibility of transporting Mr. Gulen on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali, according to one of the people who has spoken to the FBI.
It’s not known if any money changed hands, but Mueller, according to sources close to the investigation, is looking into these reports, as part of the broader investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
It suffices to say, Flynn and his son are in deep with some less-than-savory operations. And it’s not just Russia. That much was known before Trump picked him to serve as national security adviser.
But federal investigators’ interest in whether Mr. Flynn was pursuing potentially illegal means to forcibly deal with Mr. Gulen indicates that the former Trump adviser faces another investigation stemming from his work on behalf of Turkish government interests, both before and after the presidential election.
He is now facing military, congressional and criminal investigations into allegations that he improperly concealed his financial ties to Turkey and Russia, and into whether the ties played any role in his decisions as the president’s adviser, The Wall Street Journal has previously reported.
Investigators say Flynn was preparing to use his position as an adviser to push for Gulen’s extradition, but the discovery of his deception, regarding his ties to Russia forced him out of that position after only 24 days.
Gulen is charged with masterminding a failed coup against the administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They also say Gulen and his followers are terrorists. Gulen denies all charges against him.
The alleged meeting in New York in December, which came after Mr. Flynn was tapped as national security adviser, was a follow-up to an earlier discussion, on Sept. 19, where Turkish officials first raised the possibility of forcibly removing Mr. Gulen. That September meeting, held in a hotel room and attended by former CIA Director James Woolsey, was reported earlier by the Journal.
Mr. Gulen’s removal was discussed as “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” according to Mr. Woolsey, who said he attended the meeting at the request of one of Mr. Flynn’s business associates.
Also present at the September meeting were Mr. Erdogan’s son-in-law and Turkey’s foreign minister, foreign-lobbying disclosure documents show. The Turkish Embassy has previously acknowledged that Turkish officials met with Mr. Flynn but declined to discuss the conversation.
I would watch this movie.
The actual wranglings took place under the Obama administration, which had long been turning back requests from the Turkish government to deliver Gulen into their hands.
In Mr. Flynn, the Turks found a more sympathetic ear. Mr. Flynn wrote an op-ed published in The Hill on the day of the presidential election in which he praised Mr. Erdogan’s government and called the cleric “a shady Islamic mullah” and “radical Islamist” who may be running “a dangerous sleeper terror network” in the U.S.
“We should not provide him safe haven,” Mr. Flynn wrote.
Wow. That was convenient.
So if they were willing to pay $15 million for what sounds like a government-sponsored kidnapping, did he at least get $50 for that op-ed?
We know Flynn’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, received over $500,000 for work done that would benefit the government of Turkey.
Federal investigators are currently looking at whether Mr. Flynn’s work on behalf of Turkey violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires people to disclose when they are acting in the U.S. on behalf of foreign powers, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.
We also know that reports show back in March, Flynn agreed to testify in the Russia probe, in exchange for immunity.
According to Flynn, himself, you don’t ask for immunity unless you’re guilty of something.
So what is Michael Flynn guilty of?