National Security

Grand jury to hear evidence on Flynn’s lobbying work for Turkey: report

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A grand jury is expected to hear evidence concerning a lobbying effort involving former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn’s work for the Turkish government, even as the former Trump aide’s role in the special counsel investigation appears to be coming to a close.

The New York Times reports that a grand jury in Virginia will likely hear evidence that Flynn was serving as an unregistered agent of the Turkish government in the U.S. days after the 2016 election. 

In 2016, he penned an op-ed for The Hill attacking Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric exiled from Turkey and living in Pennsylvania.

{mosads}Further investigation of Flynn’s contact with Turkish officials comes after the former Trump associate pleaded guilty late last year to lying to FBI investigators about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Prosecutors wrote in court filings this week obtained by the Times that Flynn’s op-ed attacking Gulen “was valuable to the Republic of Turkey’s efforts to shape public opinion,” and was not written of his own initiative, as Flynn previously told investigators.

Flynn admitted to prosecutors last year that he had violated Justice Department rules mandating the registration of foreign lobbyists, but he has not yet been charged with a crime related to his work with Turkey.

News of a grand jury’s examination of Flynn’s lobbying work comes a day after prosecutors with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation recommended that Flynn serve no jail time for lying to investigators, citing his contributions to their investigations.

“The offense level and guideline range, however, do not account for a downward departure pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines reflecting the defendants substantial assistance to the government, which the government has moved for contemporaneously,” Mueller’s prosecutors wrote Tuesday.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Flynn could be sentenced to between zero and six months in prison and face up to a $9,500 fine.

Tags Lobbying op-ed Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation Turkey
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