Federal investigators have been probing Flynn's lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey, including an alleged meeting with senior Turkish officials in December 2016 where he was offered millions of dollars to secure the return of the Turkish president's chief rival to Turkey and see that a US case against a Turkish national was dismissed.
The Wall Street Journal reported on November 10 that Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., had discussed with Turkish representatives ways to hand over cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of instigating an attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July.
Today's Wall Street Journal report refers to another meeting, held three months later, in which the same topic was discussed: Flynn would "forcibly remove" Gulen, send him to Turkey, and receive millions of dollars for his efforts.
According to the sources, Mueller recently interviewed witnesses over the December 2016 meeting between the Turkish officials and Flynn at the swanky 21 Club in New York City. If prosecutors can prove Flynn and his associates took concrete steps to act on such a plan, it could result in charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping even though Gulen wasn't abducted, said Patrick Cotter, a Chicago defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor. All of this reportedly at the direction of the Turkish government. There's no indication any money was exchanged as part of that plan, it said.
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The discussions allegedly included how to transport Gulen on a private jet to Turkey.
"Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumour or allegation raised in the media", Flynn's lawyer Robert Kelner told the press.
Investigators were also looking into the actions of his son, Michel Flynn Jr, in relation to the case.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is examining a meeting Flynn had with senior Turkish officials weeks after Donald Trump won the presidential race previous year, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported. Turkey has requested the cleric be legally extradited, but the USA government has so far rejected this.
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Mueller's interest in the nature of Flynn and Rohrabacher's discussion marks the first known time a member of Congress could be wrapped into the investigation.
If proven, the alleged plan to kidnap the cleric with the aid of foreign money directly violates U.S. criminal code and could result in up to a 20-year sentence for the Flynns, according to a legal analyst.
Those moves could indicate Mueller was trying to exert pressure to convince Manafort or Papadopoulos to reveal the inner workings of the Trump campaign.
Before joining the Trump administration, Flynn had lobbied on behalf of the Turkish government in the U.S. He didn't reveal this fact until March of this year.
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