Mueller investigating $15M Flynn plan to snatch exiled cleric

12 November, 2017, 02:15 | Author: Phil Peters
  • Fethullah Gulen lives in a compound in the small Poconocs town of Saylorsburg Pennsylvania

US President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is under investigation for alleged involvement in a plot to forcibly remove a Turkish dissident cleric living in the US and deliver him back to his country in return for millions of dollars.

The focus of Mueller's investigation is to examine whether a discussion at 21 Club in NY leading to a deal to transport the cleric to Turkey would have resulted in Flynn receiving millions of dollars in secret payments, and whether Flynn was, in fact, part of that discussion.

While his investigation is focused on Russian meddling, Mueller has a broad mandate and has honed in on Flynn's activities as Trump's lead national security advisor. It was arranged by his lobbying firm, the Flynn Intel Group. Flynn's business partners and son, Michael G. Flynn, also attended, according to the NBC report.

The Wall Street Journal said its sources weren't on hand at the December meeting, but were familiar with the Mueller investigation, though didn't know how deep the special counsel was probing the plot.

"If Mueller has sufficient evidence that Flynn and his son were involved in this audacious plot to kidnap the cleric, the special counsel can use that to pressure the former Trump campaign associate to flip and tell the FBI everything he knows of relevance to the Russian Federation investigation".

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"One person familiar with the alleged discussions about Mr. Gulen said Mr. Flynn also was prepared to use his influence in the White House to further the legal extradition of the cleric, who lives in Pennsylvania", WSJ added.

Citing "people with knowledge of the FBI's inquiries", The Journal reported that Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed the proposal - which one of those people told the newspaper allegedly involved flying Gulen on a private jet to a prison on the island of Imrali - during a meeting in mid-December at the 21 Club in NY.

"Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegations raised in the media", the statement from Flynn's attorneys read. "But today's news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery, that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule: they are false".

Flynn was sacked after just 24 days as Trump's national security adviser over misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. Flynn has expressed interest in an immunity deal and Mueller, in his dealings with former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, has shown himself ready to negotiate.

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