Special counsel Robert Mueller has divulged more details of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s false statements to the government over his secret work for Turkey, including how he made efforts to secure the deportation of a cleric living in the U.S.
The court documents released by Mueller’s prosecutors on Tuesday refer, although not by name, to Fethullah Gulen – a cleric the Turkish government charges with orchestrating a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.
Flynn’s secret work with Turkey – dubbed the ‘Turkey Project’ in court documents – began just one month after the failed coup.
READ THE MEMO AND ADDENDUM IN FULL BELOW
Court documents released by prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller (right) on Tuesday reveal false statements made by former national security adviser Michael Flynn (left) on his business links to the Turkish government
Turkey has repeatedly called on the U.S to hand over Gulen, legally resides in Pennsylvania.
It has been reported that Mueller’s team are trying to determine whether Flynn met with Turkish officials in December 2016 to discuss a potential deal under which he would be paid to oversee Gulen’s return to Turkey.
Flynn failed to disclose to the U.S. government that he was working closely with Turkey in 2016, as required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), until March 7 2017 – about a month after he was fired from Trump’s administration.
The statements he then filed to FARA contained a number of falsities.
Firstly, his FARA filings omitted the fact that senior officials from Turkey ‘provided supervision and direction’ on the three-month project for which Flynn and his company received $530,000.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) has repeatedly called on President Trump (right) to hand over cleric Fethullah Gulen – a Pennsylvania resident who he believes was behind a failed coup in 2016. Reports have surfaced that Michael Flynn may have discussed a potential deal with Turkey in which he would be paid to secure Gulen’s extradition
This week, Robert Mueller said that Flynn should get no prison time because of the ‘substantial assistance’ he has provided in the Russia probe
In Tuesday’s court filing, Federal prosecutors said the fact Flynn did not reveal his business links to Turkey was made worse by his role as ‘a national security adviser and surrogate for the Trump campaign who opined publicly on foreign policy and national security issues’.
Connections such as these, prosecutors argue, are ‘exactly the type of information FARA was designed to ensure was within the public sphere.’
The court filing also says that Flynn’s secrecy ‘impeded the ability of the public to learn about the Republic of Turkey’s efforts to influence public opinion about the failed coup, including its efforts to effectuate the removal of a person legally residing in the United States.’
Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team released a highly anticipated memo Tuesday evening, December 4, 2018, detailing the false statements made by Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser over his links to Turkey. Scroll down to read the full memo and addendum
Secondly, the documents refer to an opinion piece written by Flynn in which he called for Gulen’s removal from the U.S.
Federal prosecutors claim that Flynn falsely claimed in the FARA filings that the op-ed was written at his own initiative, as opposed to for the ‘Turkey project’, depriving the public of transparency.
As the cleric’s responsibility for the attempted coup was a ‘subject of great debate’, prosecutors argued, Flynn’s op-ed was extremely valuable to the Turkish governments efforts to shape public opinion.
This week, Robert Mueller said that Flynn should get no prison time because of the ‘substantial assistance’ he has provided in the Russia probe.
The special counsel said in a sentencing memo released on Tuesday night retired U.S. Army lieutenant general Flynn participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and has helped in several criminal investigations.
Two of the cases he helped with were separate to the Russia investigation, large parts of the document were redacted and the full extent of Flynn’s assistance was not revealed, suggesting that Mueller’s work is far from over.
Prosecutors haven’t asked for no jail time in any of the other cases connected to the Russia investigation, and praised Flynn’s ‘record of military and public service’ that ‘distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part the investigation’.