Two of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s associates were charged in a conspiracy to illegally lobby the United States government to extradite a Turkish cleric who is a legal resident of the US back to Turkey, The Washington Post reports.
Flynn’s former business partner Bijan Kian is charged with conspiring with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby the government to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of the current regime who has lived in Pennsylvania for years.
Alptekin, who is still in Turkey, was also charged with directing and funding Kian and Flynn’s efforts and lying in filings about his role. He and Kian are both charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign government. Alptekin was also charged with making false statements.
Flynn is awaiting sentencing after he admitted lying to federal agents. Prosecutors have recommended no prison time for the former Trump adviser, citing his “substantial assistance.”
According to The Post, Kian was allowed to go on personal recognizance bond but has to update the probation office of his movements.
Flynn was involved in Gulen kidnapping plot: The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn discussed a plot to kidnap Gulen from the United States and deliver him to Turkey by private plane. Flynn met with Turkish officials in December of 2016, before Trump became president. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, who attended the meeting, confirmed that it occurred.
According to the report, Flynn was offered $15 million to pull off the plot as he served on Trump’s transition team.
Woolsey told CNN last year that "there was at least some strong suggestion by one or more of the Americans present at the meeting that we would be able, the United States would be able, through them, to be able to get hold of Gulen".
Monday’s indictment did not mention the kidnapping plot but noted that the meeting with the same participants took place on the date it was reported.