Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

US Special Counsel Reportedly Probing Plot To Hand Over Turkish Cleric Gulen

US Special Counsel Reportedly Probing Plot To Hand Over Turkish Cleric Gulen

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have asked at least four people about a meeting in mid-December where Flynn and Turkish government representatives allegedly discussed capturing Gulen, who's in exile in the US, the Journal said, citing people it didn't identify who are familiar with the FBI's inquiries.

Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is under investigation for involvement in a plot to kidnap a Turkish dissident cleric living in the U.S. and fly him to an island prison in Turkey in return for $15m, it was reported on Friday.

Federal investigators have been probing Flynn's lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey, including an alleged meeting with senior Turkish officials in December 2016 where he was offered millions of dollars to secure the return of the Turkish president's chief rival to Turkey and see that a USA case against a Turkish national was dismissed.

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.

This meeting was held in December - after the US presidential election and during Donald Trump's transition period - as Flynn was preparing to oversee national-security policy at the White House.

The Daily Beast reported earlier this year that Rohrabacher was given instructions by Russian intelligence officials on how to alter sanctions legislation and to set up "a virtual show trial on Capitol Hill" last June, right at around the time that Donald Trump Jr. and key members of the Trump campaign met with Russian nationals who claimed to be representatives of the Russian government's efforts to undermine the candidacy of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sources said the December meeting was a follow up to an earlier meeting on the same matter.

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The Journal report did not allege that any money changed hands and did not detail how far the plan may have developed.

The discussions allegedly included how to transport Gulen on a private jet to Turkey.

In a statement, Flynn's lawyers, led by Robert Kelner, said that "out of respect for the process of the various investigations" regarding the 2016 campaign, they have avoided responding to every "rumor or allegation" in the media. His name has tangentially come up in relation to the investigation, but this is the first direct mention the FBI is looking at a meeting in which Rohrabacher participated.

Woolsey claims that those present discussed sending Gulen back to Turkey to face charges - possibly outside the legal USA extradition system.

The fact that Flynn never registered as a foreign agent of Turkey - much like Manafort didn't register for doing work for Ukraine before he worked for Trump - gives fuel to a federal grand jury to indict him for that very omission.

If proven, the alleged plan to kidnap the cleric with the aid of foreign money directly violates United States criminal code and could result in up to a 20-year sentence for the Flynns, according to a legal analyst. "Evidence that Flynn was prepared to act in such an unlawful way could help prove a case against him in other activities as well involving his ties to Russian Federation during the campaign".

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