Special counsel Robert Mueller now has sufficient evidence to bring charges against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, NBC News announced today, citing multiple sources familiar with Mueller’s investigation. The investigation is part of the ongoing federal probe into Russia’s involvement with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
According to NBC, Michael Flynn is being investigated for potential charges of money laundering and lying to federal officials about his foreign connections, NBC explained.
Additionally, investigators have been digging into allegations that Flynn may have been involved in efforts to facilitate the extradition of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, a vocal opponent of Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, from the US back to Turkey. Erdogan has blamed Gülen for an attempted coup in 2016.
Also part of Mueller’s line of inquiry is the $530,000 Flynn received for consulting work on behalf of Turkey in the fall of 2016. As NBC News explained, he failed to register as a foreign lobbyist at the time, disclosing his work with a Dutch consulting firm only in March, well after he was fired from the White House.
Flynn’s son, also named Michael, worked on President Trump’s campaign and briefly on the administration’s transition team. He could be charged along with his father or separately, NBC reported. Lawyers for the Flynn family did not comment to NBC on the news.
These new charges come a week after Mueller unsealed indictments against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates, who both pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from money laundering to false statements about their work with foreign political parties. The White House has continued to insist that these indictments offered no proof of their ties to the Russian government during the 2016 election.
Flynn’s dicey, short-lived time in the administration
Michael Flynn survived only 24 days into the Trump administration — he was forced to step down after revelations surfaced that he had purposefully obfuscated his connection to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition. As such, Flynn has now been under scrutiny for months. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop wrote in August, Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials are well known.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified that the day after Flynn’s firing, President Trump took him aside and told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”