Ex-Trump adviser investigated over alleged plot to kidnap Turkish cleric

Ex-Trump adviser investigated over alleged plot to kidnap Turkish cleric

The special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan that Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser, discussed with the Turkish government to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the US, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Flynn, who is President Trump's former national security adviser, and his son Michael Flynn Jr. were allegedly were involved in a plan to deliver Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, which views Gulen as a political enemy and has pressed the US for his extradition, The Journal reported.

The meeting allegedly discussed a secret payout of up to US$15 million dollars (S$20.4 million) if, once in office, Mr Flynn would engineer the deportation to Turkey of Fethullah Gulen, a political rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as help free Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab from prison. The sources could not confirm whether Rohrabacher and Flynn discussed US policy towards Russian Federation in the alleged meeting.

Authorities said the meeting allegedly occurred at an upscale restaurant just a few blocks from Trump Tower.

While Flynn has had a relationship with Turkey, his counsel denies the Wall Street Journal's report, according to CNN. "All allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law for his extradition are utterly false, ludicrous and groundless".

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is under investigation for ties to Russian Federation and Turkey.

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The meeting was held at New York City's 21 Club.

It's still rather early in the morning, but I feel comfortable saying that the latest reporting on Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former White House National Security Advisor, is going to be the craziest story of the day.

One source said Gülen would be seized and flown by private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali.

Mr Mueller is increasing pressure on Mr Flynn following his indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, NBC News said. But by mid-December Trump had named Flynn national security adviser and he was playing a central role in the transition.

"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. In addition to founding and working for Flynn Intel Group, he joined his father on a trip to Moscow in December 2015 during which Flynn was paid $34,000 to speak at an event celebrating the state-sponsored news agency RT, NBC News reported.

Special counsel Mueller's ability to gather enough evidence to make the charges stick could lead to Flynn making a plea bargain in exchange for cooperation on the Russia-related investigations.

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