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Report: Russia investigation turns to Flynn business partner

Report: Russia investigation turns to Flynn business partner
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Federal investigators are turning their attention to the former business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a Tuesday Reuters report.

Bijan Kian is now a person of interest in the ongoing probe into Flynn's lobbying work, according to an unidentified Reuters source who was interviewed by the FBI. That person also said the investigators asked questions about Kian's work with Flynn on certain contracts.

The deals made by Flynn and his former consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, are being investigated by the FBI to see whether his contracts with foreign governments were lawful, two sources with knowledge of Flynn's business ventures tell the news service.

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Flynn's company received payments from Inovo, a Netherlands-based company that is headed by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, as well as payments from three Russian companies, Reuters reports.

The FBI is looking into whether Flynn's company lobbied on behalf of Turkey without properly disclosing his efforts on behalf of a foreign entity.

It is not yet clear if Kian is being interviewed to provide a greater picture of their business operations or if he is the subject of a criminal investigation, Reuters reports.

Both Kian and his lawyer, Robert Trout, did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters. The FBI declined to comment. Robert Kelner, Flynn's lawyer, also did not respond to the news service's requests for comment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has separately expressed interest in Kian. 

"I have an interest in Bijan Kian and his interactions with General Flynn based on specific documents already obtained by the Committee,” Cummings told Reuters in an email. 

Flynn was ousted from his White House role in February after he misled Vice President Pence and other senior officials about the contents of his conversations with a top Russian diplomat regarding U.S. sanctions.