One of Michael Flynn’s business partners has been charged with illegally lobbying in Turkey. Bijan Kian is charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy after he tried to have Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States.
According to The Washington Post, Kian appeared in Alexandria federal court on Monday morning. It was Kian’s first appearance for these particular charges.
Kian is charged with making false statements, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and engaging in a conspiracy as directly related to a lobbying campaign.
Also charged is Ekim Alptekin, the man who paid Kian and Flynn. He is currently abroad and has not been brought before a court of law.
Tensions are high between the United States and Turkey at the moment. President Trump and his administration are said to be working to extradite exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen for his alleged role in an attempted coup in Turkey two years ago.
The extradition order appears to be at odds with comments recently made by the US State Department and the Justice Department.
The lobbying effort which was given the names “Truth Campaign” and “Project Confidence,” were spun up after the Justice Department denied Turkey’s request to extradite Gulen.
Michael Flynn, according to Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo, met with the FBI’s Special Counsel a total of 19 times. Flynn, hoping to receive a lenient prison sentence for his participation, has been at odds with Mueller’s team over claims that he blatantly lied to the FBI and other investigators.
If charges move forward with Kian, it could provide the Special Counsel with more ammo as they continue to question Flynn and move forward with their investigation.
Here’s the full filing order with the court:Flynn and Court Order for Kian
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.