Attorneys for former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn are denying reports that surfaced Friday, including allegations that special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Flynn’s alleged part in a plan to forcibly remove a Turkish cleric from the U.S. and transport him to Turkey.
“Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegation raised in the media,” the attorneys wrote in a statement on Friday. “But today’s news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery, that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule: they are false.”
Earlier on Friday, a report surfaced that Mueller, who is investigating whether the Trump administration colluded with the Kremlin in the 2016 election, was reportedly investigating Flynn’s alleged role in a scheme to forcibly evacuate a Turkish cleric from the U.S. and transport him to Turkey for up to $15 million.
Flynn was in contact with Turkish officials about the plan, the Wall Street Journal reported. The plan would require Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., to bring cleric Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government in exchange for as much as $15 million. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes Gulen orchestrated the failed coup against him in 2016, and Erdogan has been urging the U.S. government to extradite the cleric, who resides in Pennsylvania.
Mueller is also reportedly investigating an alleged meeting Flynn attended with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., in Sept. 2016. Flynn’s company, Flynn Intel Group, arranged a meeting in Washington, D.C. Flynn and his son, along with business partners Bijan Kian and Brian McCauley, were all present, NBC News reported.
Mueller is said to be reviewing emails Rohrabacher’s staff received from Flynn Intel Group, which reportedly allegedly thanked Rohrbacher’s staff for the meeting. Rohrabacher has been an advocate for better relations with Russia and has met with officials in Moscow to discuss overturning the Magnitsky Act, which froze assets of Russian investigators and prosecutors and prevents them from entering the U.S.
Flynn was removed from his post at the White House earlier this year after it was revealed he misled the administration about his sanctions-related communications with Russians prior to Trump’s inauguration.