Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, two former business associates were indicted as being a part of a federal investigation into Turkey’s secret lobbying campaign in pressuring the United States to expel a rival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The charges were against two associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin. They were charged with conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules and Alptekin was charged with making false statements to F.B.I investigators.
The investigation into the Turkist lobbying started in 2016 after Flynn wrote an op-ed for The Hill newspaper on Election Day for attacking Fethullah Gulen, a person that the Turkish government had accused of helping instigate a failed coup.
In Flynn’s piece, he calls Gulen a “radical Islamist” and a “shady Islamic mullah.” Prosecutors started examining whether or not Flynn and his company were paid by paid lobbyists for Turkey. Kian helped in engineering the lobbying project that involved in persuading member of congress that Gulen was to be extradited.
According to the New York Times, “In 2017, Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kian filed additional lobbying disclosures acknowledging that the Gulen project “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” They detailed payments to other people and firms associated with the Gulen project.
When he pleaded guilty last December to lying to F.B.I agents working on the Russia investigation, Mr. Flynn also admitted to prosecutors that he had repeatedly violated laws requiring firms to register their work on behalf of foreign clients.”
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