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US Special Counsel Reportedly Probing Plot To Hand Over Turkish Cleric Gulen

12 November 2017

Investigators are probing whether former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn discussed expelling a Turkish dissident back to his country in exchange for millions of dollars, USA media reported Friday.

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. It was arranged by his lobbying firm, the Flynn Intel Group.

NBC and the Journal both cited multiple people familiar with the probe by Mueller, who is leading the investigation into whether members of Trump's campaign colluded with Russian meddling in the election.

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In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rohrabacher offered Trump a deal that to protect Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks, which released emails damaging to Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election, from legal peril. "We should not provide him safe haven".

Flynn resigned almost three weeks after Sally Yates, the acting attorney general at the time, warned the White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

The fact that Flynn never registered as a foreign agent of Turkey - much like Manafort didn't register for doing work for Ukraine before he worked for Trump - gives fuel to a federal grand jury to indict him for that very omission.

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is examining the meeting Flynn had with senior Turkish officials. Mueller is said to be investigating whether Flynn and his son were scheming with the government of Turkey to essentially kidnap Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania who has always been a thorn on the side of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Flynn's lawyers Robert Kelner, Stephen Anthony and Brian Smith said: "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". "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 is also under investigation from various groups for payments from Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT and transition contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, which led to his firing as National Security Adviser.

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A grand jury impaneled by Mueller is continuing to interview witnesses with knowledge of Flynn's business activities over the next week, the two sources said.

US Special Counsel Reportedly Probing Plot To Hand Over Turkish Cleric Gulen