Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Mueller reportedly investigating Flynn over plot to grab Muslim cleric in Poconos

Fethullah Gulen lives in a compound in the small Poconocs town of Saylorsburg Pennsylvania Fethullah Gulen lives in a compound in the small Poconocs town of Saylorsburg Pennsylvania
Dexter Carr | 11 November, 2017, 00:50

The retired lieutenant general had admitted lying to Vice President Mike Pence about a meeting with the Russian ambassador in which the lifting of U.S. sanctions was discussed.

The special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan that Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser, discussed with the Turkish government to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the US, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Mr Gulen has always denied any role in the coup that was carried out by rogue senior members of the Turkish Armed Forces that styled themselves as the Peace at Home Council.

The Journal reported that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents asked at least four people about a December meeting in NY where Mr Flynn and Turkish government representatives discussed removing Mr Gulen, according to people with knowledge of the FBI's inquiries.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN in March about an earlier meeting in September 2016 where Flynn also met with representatives of the Turkish government and discussed potential ways to send a foe of Turkey's president back to face charges in that country.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, attended a breakfast meeting where Michael Flynn and Turkey's foreign minister were also present. That same NBC News report added, "Mueller's team is also examining whether Flynn attempted to orchestrate the removal of a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S.to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, two officials said". Gülen, a Muslim cleric living in rural Pennsylvania, was accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of masterminding a failed coup against him past year.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the direction of Mueller's probe to The Wall Street Journal Friday. Friday's report describes a second meeting involving both Flynns at the 21 Club restaurant, a prohibition-era NY speakeasy patronised by Trump, in mid-December.

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Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian manipulation of the 2016 United States election, has already indicted Trump's former campaign manager and another senior fundraiser on charges including money laundering and a former foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to perjury.

That period is a grey area when it comes to paid work for foreign interests, but if the arrangement was carried through past inauguration in January, Flynn could face bribery charges on top of questions of whether the NY conversations represented a conspiracy to carry out a forced extra-judicial rendition of a legal USA resident.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

His lawyer later said Mr Flynn did not register because he was working for a Turkish businessman, rather than a government official. The younger Flynn worked closely with his father at his lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group.

On November 8, Flynn published an op-ed piece in The Hill that called Gulen "a shady Islamic mullah" and a "radical Islamist".

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