On Monday, a day before the sentencing hearing for Michale Flynn, his business associates were charged with illegally lobbying for Turkey:
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment Monday charging two business associates of Michael T. Flynn with acting as agents of the Turkish government, describing in remarkable detail how the three attempted to persuade the United States to expel a rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Throughout the fall of 2016, while Flynn served publicly as a key surrogate and foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, prosecutors say he and business partner Bijan Kian took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Turkish government to push for the extradition from the United States of dissident cleric Fethullah Gulen. Their efforts, prosecutors said, were directed by Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman with close ties to the country’s leadership.
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By prosecutors’ account, the foreign government found a powerful and enthusiastic ally in Flynn — who was willing on the eve of the presidential election to pen an op-ed pushing for Gulen’s expulsion.
Flynn, who went on to serve as President Trump’s national security adviser, admitted last year to lying about his consulting firm’s business with the Turkish government and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement in a deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team. That almost certainly helped produce charges against Kian and Alptekin. But the indictment Monday spells out for the first time how intimately Flynn was involved in the effort, which involved weekly conference calls to coordinate with Turkish officials.