Former US general allegedly plotted to kidnap Gulen, send him to Turkey

NARCH  NARCH30

The probe into the alleged Gulen plot is part of Mueller's larger investigation into alleged improper contacts between Trump representatives and agents of the Russian government during and after the 2016 USA presidential election.

Mike Flynn, a former USA national security advisor.

Flynn, President Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, was forced out just weeks into Trump's term amid revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contacts with Russian officials before the election and during the transition.

Turkey's government has claimed Gulen masterminded a failed coup, a charge he denies.

The alleged plot to remove the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, was first revealed in March 2017 by former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey.

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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The Washington correspondent for the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, which tends to be pro-government, reported at the time that an aide to Cavusoglu said he "was the only foreign leader at the breakfast and the topics on the US-Turkish agenda were discussed by the attendees". The plan is alleged to have been to transport Gulen on a private jet to the Turkish island prison island, Imrali. There's no indication any money was exchanged as part of that plan, it said.

The timing of the 21 Club meeting is significant. The probe has resulted so far in the indictment of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, relating to his work for the government in Ukraine.

Spokespersons for Mueller, Flynn and Flynn Jr. refused to provide comment for the Journal's story.

"If the facts involving Flynn and his son are true, or even mostly true, it indicates an incredible propensity for outrageously illegal conduct", said Ryan Goodman, a NY law professor and former Pentagon counsel.

Rohrabacher, a California Republican, has pushed for better relations with Russia, traveled to Moscow to meet with officials and advocated to overturn the Magnitsky Act, the 2012 bill that froze assets of Russian investigators and prosecutors. According to the network, the Mueller investigation is looking into whether Flynn was to be "paid to carry out directives from Ankara secretly while in the White House" with payments to be made either "directly or indirectly". Nor did the attorney representing the elder Flynn, Robert Kelner. Several of his business partners and his son participated in the sit-down, NBC News reported.

In March, Flynn registered as a foreign agent and revealed that his company, Flynn Intel Group Inc., received $530,000 during the later months of the election to lobby the USA government on behalf of Turkey.

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