Flynn was involved in Gülen kidnapping plot - U.S. Justice Dept
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is maintaining that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was involved in a conspiracy to illegally hand over self-exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen to Turkey, the National Review reported on Monday.
The DOJ repeated the assertion in a court briefing filed on Sunday in response to a request by Bijan Rafiekian, Flynn’s former business partner, who was also charged with plotting to kidnap Gülen, to review his case. Rafiekian made the request after Attorney General William Barr said the case against Flynn would be reviewed following a withdraw of his guilty plea on grounds of “malevolent conduct” by the FBI.
“The defendant argues that the district court should have instructed the jury not on law but on a specific fact: that Michael Flynn was not a part of any conspiracy. That argument is unsustainable,” the DOJ said.
Flynn and Rafiekian were investigated by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller – who headed a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election – for failing to register as foreign lobbyists of Turkey and conspiring to kidnap Gülen from his Pennsylvania home. Flynn denied the plot.
While serving as an adviser to then president-elect Donald Trump in 2016, Flynn penned an op-ed that lambasted Gülen as “Turkey’s Osama Bin Laden” and urged support for Ankara’s attempts to have the person it blames for the 2016 failed coup attempt extradited from the United States.
In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to providing false statements to the FBI related to his foreign lobbying efforts, and agreed to fully cooperate with the Mueller investigation.
Flynn attempted to withdraw his plea in 2019 when his new defence team filed a motion in contempt, accusing the FBI of entrapping their client by withholding material that benefited the case to cause him to plead guilty.
In February, Attorney General Barr declared that there would be a review of Flynn's case, leading the DOJ to file a Motion to Dismiss on May 7 to withdraw the criminal charges against the former Trump aide.