Special counsel Robert Mueller has enough evidence gathered to charge former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of his ongoing probe into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, NBC News reported Sunday, citing “multiple sources familiar with the investigation.”
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was forced to resign from President Donald Trump’s administration after serving only 24 days on the job after admitting that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
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Flynn’s lobbying work drew particular scrutiny as federal investigators looked into whether he laundered money or lied to federal officials about his contacts overseas, “three sources familiar with the investigation” told NBC News. Investigators are also reportedly looking to find out whether Flynn tried to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, now living in the Poconos in eastern Pennsylvania, extradited to Turkey, two officials told NBC. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has alleged that Gulen orchestrated the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, has also come under federal investigators’ scrutiny for working alongside his father. The two men could face indictments simultaneously or on separate dates, the sources told NBC News.
Should the elder Flynn be charged, he would become the first former or current Trump administration official to face charges as part of Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference and any potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Sunday’s report about the impending charges against the Flynns came the week after Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, and Manafort’s associate, Rick Gates, were indicted as part of Mueller’s investigation. Both men, however, were indicted on 12 charges related to money laundering in connection with political consulting work they performed in Ukraine starting in 2006 and ending two years before Manafort served as Trump’s campaign manager in 2016.
News also circulated Monday that George Papadopoulos, a volunteer on Trump’s campaign, had pleaded guilty earlier to lying to federal officials during the course of their Russia probe.