Now it appears we may have more information about some of the things he was sitting on. He was part of a plan to seize Fethullah Gulen, a political enemy of Turkish President Erdogan, and remove him to Turkey, avoiding the legal extradition process. Michael Flynn and his son were to be paid $15 million in exchange for their help in what would have been, essentially, kidnapping.
Now, obviously, in the United States you can’t just go bursting into someone’s home, putting them on a private jet, and flying them to a Turkish island prison – and yet, that seems to be exactly what the plan was. From the Wall Street Journal:
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.
The investigation is being handled by Mr. Mueller as part of his probe of Trump campaign advisers and Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to those familiar with the investigation.
A part of the legal trouble Flynn now finds himself in is that he was paid a substantial sum of money (not the $15 million, as that plan never went forward) while acting as an agent of the nation of Turkey. He didn’t declare himself to be working on behalf of a foreign government, which is illegal – and one of the many crimes Paul Manafort is allegedly guilty of with respect to Ukraine.
WSJ goes on to report,
Before entering the Trump administration as the president’s national security adviser, Mr. Flynn was lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests in the U.S., including on the Gulen issue. He didn’t disclose that work until March of this year, after he was forced out of the White House for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Mr. Flynn served as national security adviser for just 24 days.
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.
The Turkish president blames Fethullah Gulen for a failed coup last year, which the Erdogan used as an excuse to vastly increase his executive power, a move that many think smacks of authoritarianism and dictatorship.
The fact that Flynn was under the employ of Turkey makes an op-ed he wrote in The Hill last year make much more sense. In his op-ed, he tries to make the case that Gulen is secretly a leader of a vast network of sleeping terrorist cells, ready to strike the United States at any moment.
He also tries to tie him to the Clintons, which seems silly on its face, but in the conspiracy-ridden world he lives in, probably makes sense. He also included this 2012 60 Minutes Fethullah Gulen investigation, which does nothing to verify any of his claims and is out-of-date. If you watch to the end, it directly contradicts the points he tried to make by using it:
There is no evidence linking Gulen to the attempted coup in Turkey.
Featured image via Kevin Hagen/Getty Images