Mike Flynn under Special Counsel Investigation for Cleric Deal

The Story:

Former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn faces multiple allegations around his Russia ties and his possible role in forcibly delivering a Muslim cleric from the U.S. to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the matter.

Why It Matters:

  • Flynn is surrounded by allegations around his financial ties to Russia and Turkey.

  • He is currently the center of criminal, military and congressional investigations that seek to unearth a possible connection between that and his decisions while he was the president’s adviser.

The Nuts and Bolts:

  • NBC News reported that Flynn is under investigation for involvement in the return of an alleged political enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Turkey.

  • President Erdoğan has been pressuring the United States to extradite the person in question, a cleric.

  • The focus of Mueller’s investigation is to examine whether a discussion at 21 Club in New York leading to a deal to transport the cleric to Turkey would have resulted in Flynn receiving millions of dollars in secret payments, and whether Flynn was, in fact, part of that discussion.

  • Flynn was allegedly offered upwards of $15 million to close the deal successfully.

  • Flynn also allegedly discussed helping to free Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader who currently faces federal charges for his assistance to Iran in skirting United States sanctions. Zarrab is currently being held in a U.S. facility.

  • Special counsel Mueller’s ability to gather enough evidence to make the charges stick could lead to Flynn making a plea bargain in exchange for cooperation on the Russia-related investigations.

  • The precedent for that would be George Papadopolous’s plea deal, which significantly shifted the legal landscape on the Trump Russian scandal.


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Source: NBC News