Mueller is digging into an alleged $15 million plot between Michael Flynn and Turkey

Michael Flynn.

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Michael Flynn.
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Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • 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 from the US, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
  • Citing “people with knowledge of discussions” between Flynn and Turkish representatives, The Journal reported that Flynn and his son were to be paid as much as $15 million by the Turkish government.
  • NBC News reported earlier this week that Mueller had compiled enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son related to lobbying work last year.

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.

The Journal reported, citing “people with knowledge of discussions” between Flynn and Turkish representatives, that Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million to deliver Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government.

The US has refused to extradite Gulen, whom the Turkish government has accused of backing a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016.

Citing “people with knowledge of the FBI’s inquiries,” The Journal reported that Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed the proposal – which one of those people told the newspaper allegedly involved flying Gulen on a private jet to a prison on the island of Imrali – during a meeting in mid-December at the 21 Club in New York.

Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor, has compiled enough evidence to bring charges against Flynn and his son, NBC News reported on Sunday.

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. Flynn did not register with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent until March, a month after he was ousted from the White House following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian officials.

Flynn Jr. appears to have been closely associated with his father’s work. In addition to founding and working for Flynn Intel Group, he joined his father on a trip to Moscow in December 2015 during which Flynn was paid $34,000 to speak at an event celebrating the state-sponsored news agency RT, NBC News reported.

Flynn resigned nearly three weeks after Sally Yates, the acting attorney general at the time, warned the White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

Trump also ignored advice from President Barack Obama, who fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, to steer clear of Flynn.

In a February meeting shortly after Flynn resigned, Trump asked the FBI director at the time, James Comey, to “let this go,” referring to an FBI investigation into Flynn.

Natasha Bertrand and Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.