Trump Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation, Appointed Him Anyway

After a week of bombshell stories, the Trump administration is surrounded by yet another controversy.

President Donald Trump and his (mal)administration have been engulfed in controversies ever since assuming office. However, more details have now come into light regarding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Recently, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during a press briefing that Trump was unaware that Michael Flynn was working as a “foreign agent” when he handed him the new role in his administration.

However, it has now emerged that Flynn informed Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was being investigated for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.

Trump completely ignored the warning and still handed him an important role in his cabinet. Flynn’s appointment as the national security adviser meant that he had access to nearly all secret and sensitive information held by American intelligence agencies.

The first disclosure was made to Donald F. McGahn II, the transition team’s chief lawyer, on Jan. 4. Two days later, another conversation took place between Flynn’s lawyers and Trump’s transition lawyers. These conversations show that Trump’s team knew about the investigation far earlier than has been previously reported. However, this was not the first warning; two days after the November election, former President Barrack Obama also warned Trump against hiring Flynn. He was also kept on his job even after acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates warned the White House about his alleged contacts with Russian officials days before he resigned.

Flynn resigned as the national security adviser 24 days into his job. After his resignation, Trump reportedly pressured FBI Director James Comey the next day to close the investigation into Flynn. However, Comey refused and he was later fired by Trump. 

Andrew G. McCabe, acting FBI director, confirmed the existence of a “highly significant” investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s associates and Russian operatives to control the presidential election. As a result of the investigation, Flynn is being scrutinized and subpoenas have been issued to businesses that worked with him or his associates.

Flynn is now being investigated for his work for a firm linked to the Turkish government while working as a top adviser during Trump’s election campaign. He earned $535,000 while lobbying for Inovo BV, a Dutch firm linked to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He also wrote an op-ed calling for the U.S. to kick out Fethullah Gulen, an anti-government Turkish cleric, without disclosing he was being paid for the task.

However, under a regulation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens must disclose if they have been engaged in lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. 

William McGinley, Trump campaign lawyer, had a conference call with Flynn Intel Group following an article in The Daily Caller, which revealed Flynn’s contract with Inovo — he now works in the White House as cabinet secretary and deputy assistant to the president. 

Flynn’s phone conversations with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, have also been investigated as he failed to disclose them. He also misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations telling him that the two had only exchanged holiday pleasantries.

According to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Flynn believed that the Justice Department opened an investigation into his lobbying work after Obama’s warning did not stop Trump from making him national security adviser.  


Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters 

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