President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn wrote an op-ed on Election Day calling for the U.S. to kick out an anti-government Turkish cleric without disclosing he was being paid by a firm linked to the Turkish government, according to documents newly filed with the Justice Department.
POLITICO reported in November that Flynn's consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, was lobbying for a Dutch consulting firm with ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The new documents confirm that Flynn lobbied for the Turkish-linked firm, Inovo BV, before and immediately after the election. They also reveal that Flynn’s firm secretly met with the Turkish foreign and energy ministers in New York less than two months before the election. According to Inovo’s founder, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, the meeting was with Flynn himself.
The documents reveal that Inovo BV paid Flynn's firm $535,000 between Sept. 9 and Nov. 14. The firm's assignment focused on Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a failed coup against Erdogan last summer.
Apparently Flynn's firm admitted that they were lobbying for Inovo, but Flynn himself never bothered to register himself as a foreign agent. (Would be kind of embarrassing since he was working for Trump as well.)
Now that has changed.
Courtesy of the AP:
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired from his prominent White House job last month, has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day that may have aided the Turkish government.
Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former U.S. Army lieutenant general and intelligence chief.
Okay first off the question to ask is "Is anybody on the Trump team not compromised by a relationship with a foreign government?"
And the second question to ask is "Does anybody have a scorecard that we can use to keep track of all of the different moving parts?"
For those like myself a little surprised that Flynn turned out to be a "foreign agent" working for Turkey instead of Russia, as it turns out Russia and Turkey have a kind of on again, off again, relationship that for right now seems to be on again.
In other words what's good for Turkey could in fact also be good for Russia.