Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating former Trump aide Michael Flynn over a plot involving Flynn kidnapping a Muslim cleric that lives in the U.S. and taking him to Turkey for $15 million. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., would’ve been paid millions to deliver Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government.
Reports surfaced earlier this week claiming that Special Counsel Mueller had enough evidence to charge Michael Flynn, but the details of how and why have just been released by the Journal.
Gulen was accused in 2016 of being the mastermind behind the abortive coup in Turkey, in hopes of overthrowing the Erdoğan government. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that a meeting about the alleged plan to kidnap Gulen took place, as well as another meeting being reported this Friday by four people familiar to the investigation. The alleged second meeting took place in mid-December 2016, just weeks before Trump’s inauguration. The meeting featured both of the Flynns as well as the former CIA Director James Woolsey. It took place at 21 Club, an upscale restaurant in New York.
Sources say the group discussed kidnapping Gulen and flying him on a private plane to the Turkish Island of Imrali. It’s not clear if Flynn would’ve even been able to successfully carry out this plan, but for a government official to be bribed to secretly work for a foreign nation, is more than enough for him to be charged.
So what does this have to do with the Russia investigation? It would massively help advance the Mueller investigation as Ryan Goodman, a former Pentagon counsel, explained to the Guardian “If Mueller has sufficient evidence that Flynn and his son were involved in this audacious plot to kidnap the cleric, the special counsel can use that to pressure the former Trump campaign associate to flip and tell the FBI everything he knows of relevance to the Russia investigation…Evidence that Flynn was prepared to act in such an unlawful way could help prove a case against him in other activities as well involving his ties to Russia during the campaign.”
Mueller now has a chance to use this to offer Michael Flynn a deal, if he pleads guilty and tells the truth about the others, he’ll go easy on his son. Since Flynn Jr. is an adult and not a child, it’s fair game to use him as leverage to get Flynn to confess. It would be hard for any parent to resist helping their child, so this may just be the last straw before Michael Flynn is charged.