Michael Flynn had the shortest term of any U.S. national security advisor. He went from being a distinguished special operations senior intelligence officer in the Army to the Lt. General serving as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. That was when he left the military and became a senior adviser on Donald Trump’s campaign. Then his road to success branched off into dangerous territory.
Flynn, 60, pled guilty to charges of lying to federal investigators about his communications with the Russian government while Trump was in the presidential transition period. After the military, he also formed a company, Flynn Intel Group. He provided intelligence for government and for businesses, such as those in Turkey. Now, two of his associates have been indicted.
The indictment refers to Flynn as “Person A.” Bijan Kian’s company provided services by subcontracting Flynn’s expertise. Kamil Alptekin was a member of the board for the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Both men tried to influence American public opinion and also the country’s politicians regarding a Turkish cleric whom Turkey wanted extradited back home. Fethullah Gulen has lived in Pennsylvania since the 1990’s, but Turkey said that he was behind a failed coup. Gulen claimed that he was not involved.
Indeed, Turkey’s foreign minister claimed that the U.S. was still “working on” extraditing the cleric, according to The New York Times. At the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Trump told Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that it was still in process, according to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu:
‘Last time we met in Buenos Aires, President Trump told President Erdogan that they have been working on that, but we need to see concrete steps because it has been already two years, almost three years.’
Flynn’s former business partners were indicted on conspiracy charges after they also worked to discredit Gulen for Turkey. They were charged in the U.S. District Court, which is located eastern Virginia. Their crimes involved “acting as unregistered agents” of the Turkish government, according to CNBC. The indictment read:
‘The defendants sought to discredit and delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of politicians.’
Alptekin also lied to the FBI, according to the indictment. Both men tried to “covertly and unlawfully” influence enough Americans to change public opinion about Gulen. Then, Turkey could take him back home. Alptekin’s company hired Flynn’s business as part of that deal.
The president’s former national security advisor will appear in a federal court in Washington for lying to the FBI, too. He was due for sentencing. Ironic is it not, that Flynn’s two former associated were indicted at the same time? As it turned out, the judge told him to come back in 90 days.
Flynn has been working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the Russian internet attack on the U.S. presidential election and the conspiracy between Moscow and Trump. As a result of this effort and the former national security advisor’s devotion to country while he was in the military, Mueller requested zero to six months in jail, heavy on the zero.
The former national security advisor had five conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak at the end of December 2016, during Trump’s transition time. Mueller’s people found a December memo relating to work his business did “for the principal benefit of the Republic of Turkey.” This was soon after the attempted coup. Flynn took in $530,000 for that effort.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.