rain.png
Thursday May 28th, 2020 12:50AM

AP source: Flynn lawyers make a break with Trump team

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn have told President Donald Trump's legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

The decision could be a sign that Flynn is moving to cooperate with Mueller's investigation or negotiate a deal for himself. Flynn's legal team communicated the decision this week, said a person familiar with the move who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

In large criminal investigations, defense lawyers routinely share information with each other. But it can become unethical to continue such communication if one of the potential targets is looking to negotiate a deal with prosecutors. Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday. A lawyer for Flynn's son, Michael Flynn Jr., who has also come under investigation from Mueller's team of prosecutors, declined to comment.

The New York Times first reported the decision.

Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser in February after White House officials concluded that he had misled them about the nature of his contacts during the transition period with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

He was interviewed by the FBI in January about his communications with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. The deputy attorney general at the time, Sally Yates, soon advised White House officials that their public assertions that Flynn had not discussed sanctions with Kislyak were incorrect and that Flynn was therefore in a compromised position.

Flynn was facing a Justice Department investigation over his foreign business dealings even before Mueller was appointed as special counsel in May to investigate potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller has since inherited that investigation.

Flynn, a prominent Trump backer on the campaign trail, has been a key figure in Mueller's probe and of particular interest to Trump. Former FBI Director James Comey, for instance, said that Trump encouraged him to end an FBI investigation into Flynn during a private Oval Office meeting in February.

In addition to scrutinizing Flynn's contacts with Russia during the transition and campaign, Mueller has been investigating the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general's role in $530,000 worth of lobbying work his now-defunct firm performed for a Turkish businessman during the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign.

The lobbying campaign sought to gather derogatory information on Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric and green-card holder living in Pennsylvania. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Gulen of being behind a botched coup and has sought his extradition. Gulen has denied the allegations, and U.S. officials have rebuffed Turkey's extradition demands, citing a lack of evidence.

Flynn and his firm, Flynn Intel Group, carried out the lobbying and research work for several months, meeting with officials from the U.S. and Turkish governments. Flynn also published an op-ed on Election Day in The Hill newspaper, parroting many of the Turkish government's talking points about Gulen. At the time, neither Flynn nor his company was registered with the Justice Department to represent Turkish interests.

Soon after the publication of the op-ed, the Justice Department began investigating Flynn's lobbying work, and in March, he registered with the department as a foreign agent. In federal filings, Flynn acknowledged the work could have benefited the government of Turkey.

Since then, FBI agents working for Mueller have been investigating whether the Turkish government was directing the lobbying work and not a private company owned by a Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin, as Flynn's firm has contended. FBI agents have also been asking about Flynn's business partner, Bijan Kian, who served on Trump's presidential transition, and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who worked for his father as part of the lobbying campaign. Flynn Jr. also was a near constant presence around his father during the Trump campaign and presidential transition period.

Mueller announced his first charges in the investigation last month, including the guilty plea of a foreign-policy adviser to the campaign, George Papadopoulos, and the indictments of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates.

__

Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Rivers, Chargers beat fading Cowboys 28-6 on Thanksgiving
Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6
7:26PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump talks up US weapons to Coast Guard
On Thanksgiving visit to Coast Guard, Trump praises US military members _ and their equipment
7:25PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump credits troops, and himself, for military advances
Trump tells troops 'We're really winning' against US foes, thanks them and talks up his own leadership
7:24PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
South Dakota lawmaker, brother-in-law drown in Cook Islands
Officials say a South Dakota state representative and his brother-in-law have drowned in an apparent kayaking accident at the Cook Islands in the South Pacific
5:11PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump tells troops 'We're winning' against foes
Trump tells troops 'We're really winning' against US foes, thanks them and talks up his own leadership
1:03PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump praises Coast Guard on Thanksgiving visit
On Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump praises Coast Guard for Hurricane Harvey work
10:45AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Zimbabwe's new leader still under US sanctions
The Latest: Zimbabwe's incoming leader still under US sanctions for 'acts of violence'
6:46AM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Roy Moore thanks Trump in new fundraising appeal
Republican Roy Moore is touting President Donald Trump's near-endorsement of him in a new fundraising email to supporters
9:02PM ( 22 hours ago )
Report: 2 women claim Franken touched them inappropriately
Two women are alleging that Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken touched their buttocks during events for Franken's first campaign for Senate
9:00PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump all but endorses GOP's Moore despite sex accusations
President Donald Trump is discounting accusations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, telling voters not to support his "liberal" rival
8:50AM ( 1 day ago )
Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his 'liberal' rival
President Donald Trump is discounting accusations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, telling voters not to support his "liberal" rival
3:10AM ( 1 day ago )
Moore targeted by fellow Republicans' comments in new ad
The words of prominent Republicans are being used against Alabama's GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in a campaign ad
5:18PM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
WH: Trump not stumping for Moore due to discomfort with bid
An aide says President Donald Trump isn't campaigning for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore because of "discomfort" with the sexual misconduct allegations against the controversial judge
3:19AM ( 3 days ago )
Aide says Trump sees allegations against Moore as credible
Aides say President Donald Trump doesn't know who to believe about sexual misconduct allegations involving Roy Moore
6:18PM ( 4 days ago )
Aide says Trump 'discomfort' why he's not stumping for Moore
Aides say President Donald Trump doesn't know who to believe about sexual misconduct allegations involving Roy Moore
5:53PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Rivers, Chargers beat fading Cowboys 28-6 on Thanksgiving
Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6
7:26PM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump talks up US weapons to Coast Guard
On Thanksgiving visit to Coast Guard, Trump praises US military members _ and their equipment
7:25PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Trump credits troops, and himself, for military advances
Trump tells troops 'We're really winning' against US foes, thanks them and talks up his own leadership
7:24PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Maye leads No. 9 North Carolina to 102-78 rout of Portland
Luke Maye scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points, and No. 9 North Carolina put five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland 102-78 to open the PK80 Invitational
7:23PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Barton to go mum over disclosed photo, citing probe
Barton says he's going mum about a nude photo of him posted online because the matter is under investigation
7:06PM ( 44 minutes ago )