Nov 28 2017

The question Michael Flynn will have to answer on Turkey

U.S. President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, retired Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, will face one main question over his dealings with Turkey when his court case begins: why he changed his mind so suddenly – and so completely – about the nature of the Erdoğan regime immediately before taking up his position.Flynn, as the analysis website Just Security points out in an extensive piece on the saga’s timeline, went from publicly applauding the coup attempt against Erdoğan in July 2016 to writing that the United States shared Turkey’s goals in early November that year.

If Flynn’s radical change of heart was inspired, as some have suggested, by a $600,000 lobbying contract from a firm owned by the head of a pro-Erdoğan body in the United States, then his indictment – and questions about how far Trump was aware of Flynn’s conflict of interests – could be on the table.

Just Security says that the investigation into Flynn’s activities is also considering claims that Flynn had agreed a price with the Turkish government to extract preacher-in-exile Fethullah Gülen, who stands accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt, from the United States, and that Flynn had intervened to postpone the U.S. government’s plan for an assault on the Islamic State in Raqqa.