Ex-Trump adviser investigated over alleged plot to kidnap Turkish cleric

Ex-Trump adviser investigated over alleged plot to kidnap Turkish cleric

Flynn also allegedly discussed helping to free Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader who now faces federal charges for his assistance to Iran in skirting United States sanctions.

Flynn was working as an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign at the time.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Flynn and his son were to be paid as much as $15 million to deliver Fethullah Gülen to the Turkish government.

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, United States media reported Friday. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government seeks Gulen's extradition from the USA however Washington has made clear so far that enough evidence backing up Gulen's involvement in the failed takeover has yet to be delivered.

The Wall Street Journal said its sources weren't on hand at the December meeting, but were familiar with the Mueller investigation, though didn't know how deep the special counsel was probing the plot.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have asked at least four individuals about a meeting in mid-December at the "21" Club in New York City, where Mr. Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed removing Mr. Gulen, according to people with knowledge of the FBI's inquiries.

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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.

The new allegation, that Flynn and his son engaged in a conspiracy to arrange the rendition of Fethullah Gülen to the Erdoğan government - which accuses the cleric of plotting an abortive coup in July 2016 - could if confirmed result in even more serious charges.

According to the two reports, the discussions included details of how Gulen, a Muslim cleric who lives in Pennsylvania and has a large Turkish following, could be flown secretly by private jet to the isolated Turkish prison island of Imrali.

The NBC News report said the evidence was related to Flynn's lobbying work throughout the latter half of 2016 - while he was a top Trump campaign surrogate - for a businessman with ties to the Turkish government.

Let's note for context that Flynn, after getting caught lying about his interactions with Russian Federation, parted ways with Trump's White House just three weeks into Trump's presidency. "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".

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