Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators have enough evidence to indict former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, NBC News reported Sunday, citing multiple sources. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job for lying about his communications with the Russian ambassador, has long been a person of interest to the Justice Department for his undisclosed lobbying ties and work as a foreign agent, which allegedly continued while he was on Donald Trump’s transition team. According to NBC, the Justice Department is speaking to witnesses about Flynn’s lobbying work, as well as the possibility that he laundered money or lied about his overseas contacts.
Bringing charges against Flynn would represent another major escalation in Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. While the expanding investigation has already resulted in indictments for three former members of Trump’s campaign, Flynn would be the first former administration official to be charged.
Mueller is reportedly looking into whether Flynn tried to extradite a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the U.S. back to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, the F.B.I. was asked to reexamine Turkey’s request that Pennsylvania resident Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating a coup against him, be removed back to Turkey. While it’s unclear whether the request came from Flynn, Mueller’s team appears to be interested in allegations made by ex-C.I.A. director James Woolsey that Flynn talked with Turkish officials about kidnapping Gulen in September 2016.
Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, could also be charged as part of the probe. Flynn Jr. served as chief of staff in his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, which the elder Flynn founded after being forced out of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. Flynn Sr. was paid $530,000 for lobbying work benefiting Turkey, and only registered as foreign agent retroactively. Putting pressure on both Flynn and his son, who worked on Trump’s transition team, could increase the likelihood that one or both men might agree to become a cooperating witness against other targets of Mueller’s probe, as part of a plea agreement.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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