New developments have surfaced that paint former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in a particularly haunting light.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn discussed the potential kidnapping of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen with Turkish government officials back in September of 2016, while he served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.
Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey he was frightened by the discussions of “a covert step in the dead of the night to whisk this guy away” from his Pennsylvania home, violating U.S. law in the process.
As Flynn worked for both the Trump campaign and as a lobbyist of Turkish interests, the discussion of the illegal kidnapping could have been expected to easily get back to Trump. However, the Trump camp maintains that they were never away of Flynn’s contract with a Turkish company until very recently. According to the New York Times, though, the transition team lawyers discussed Flynn’s status as a foreign agent before he was appointed as President Trump’s National Security Adviser.
Unsurprisingly, Flynn denied having discussed such a plan. A spokesman of Flynn told press the discussions were merely “open-ended thinking on the subject,” as opposed to strict planning of the carryout of such an ordeal.
As for Flynn’s investigation of Gulen, the NYT reports:
‘Mr. Flynn was assigned to investigate Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in Pennsylvania and was blamed by Mr. Erdogan for helping instigate the failed coup. Mr. Erdogan has demanded the United States extradite Mr. Gulen, which the Obama administration refused to do.
The forms filed this week indicate that Mr. Flynn’s firm was “to perform investigative research” on Mr. Gulen and “develop a short film piece on the results of its investigation.” In the end, the video was never completed, and Mr. Flynn’s firm received $530,000 before the contract terminated in November. But on Election Day, Mr. Flynn published an op-ed article in The Hill, a newspaper serving Congress, calling Mr. Gulen “a shady Islamic mullah” and “radical Islamist.”’
According to reports, Gulen was behind the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, who have long sought his extradition from the U.S.
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) December 19, 2016
Flynn was fired just 24 days into his tenure as national security adviser, after it was discovered that he discussed U.S. diplomacy with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak as a private citizen. Following the discovery, Flynn then subsequently misled Vice-President Mike Pence about his conversations with Kislyak.
Of course, Flynn’s lobbying work with a Turkish organization opens up a whole new can of worms in regards to Trump’s ability to be swayed by foreign superpowers.
Feature Image via Getty Images.