WASHINGTON (WCMH) – Federal investigators have enough evidence to charge President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, NBC News reports.
Special Counsel Robert Muller is looking into Flynn’s lobbying work, including whether or not he lied to federal agents about his foreign contacts or laundered money, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, worked briefly on Trump’s transition team and for his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group. He could be indicted separately or at the same time as his father.
The elder Flynn was fired as national security adviser just 24 days into the job after misleading Vice President Mike Pence, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer about private conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn was also paid around $35,000 by Russian state television for a gala speech in 2015 where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Flynn also failed to register as a foreign lobbyist when he received $530,000 for work that benefited the Turkish government, according to the Justice Department. Flynn’s lobbying firm was hired to dig up information about Fethulla Gulen, a Muslim cleric accused of trying to stage a coup to overthrow Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Flynn later retroactively registered as a foreign lobbyist this year.
Investigators are also trying to determine if Flynn was involved in the removal of Gulen from the U.S. in exchange for money. Officials told NBC News that any quid-pro-quo agreement between Flynn and the Turkish government would be illegal.
Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner declined to comment when asked if Flynn denies any collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
If Flynn is charged, he would be the first Trump administration official formally accused of criminal wrongdoing in the ongoing Russia investigation. So far, only former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have been charged. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials and is fully cooperating with the investigation.