Mueller probes Flynn role in a wild kidnap plot
As Benjamin Wittes would say, “Boom!”
Behind The Wall Street Journal‘s paywall is this mega-bombshell: Turkey was seeking to have then-incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn carry out their kidnapping edict for pay.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan involving former White House National Security Adviser Mike Flynn to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Under the alleged proposal, Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
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 Flynn and representatives of the Turkish government discussed removing Gulen, according to people with knowledge of the FBI’s inquiries. The discussions allegedly involved the possibility of transporting Gulen on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali, according to one of the people who has spoken to the FBI.
It is unclear how Flynn, as national security adviser, could have successfully carried out either alleged request. But any deal in which a government official would be bribed to secretly act on behalf of a foreign government could potentially constitute multiple federal crimes.
Investigators also are looking into what possible role Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, may have played in any such efforts. The younger Flynn worked closely with his father at his lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group.
NBC News reported Sunday that federal investigators were looking into whether Flynn tried to push for the return of Gulen to Turkey once in the White House in exchange for millions of dollars, and that Trump administration officials asked the FBI to review the Gulen case anew. Officials said the FBI denied the request because Turkey had not provided any new evidence in the case, which was reviewed by the Obama administration.
With each passing day, Michael Flynn looks more like cult TV series The Blacklist’s Raymond Reddington than a former general! Maybe this is why Flynn’s BFF Donald J. Trump was pressuring then-FBI director James Comey into dropping his probe into Flynn. High treason by Flynn — well, to say the very least, it wouldn’t have reflected well on Trump.
It also merits mention that the appearance of this story follows a brief period of rumors and likely maneuvering between the legal teams of Flynn, Flynn’s son, and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who now has both a Russiagate and Turkeygate probe on his hands.
We anticipate several more bombshells ahead, so have the flak jacket and the popcorn handy!