Michael Flynn (Getty/Ein McNamee)

Mike Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, lobbied for Turkey during campaign

Flynn retroactively registers as a foreign agent, revealing work done on behalf of the Turkish government


Taylor Link
March 9, 2017 7:50PM (UTC)

Gen. Mike Flynn, the former White House national security adviser who resigned last month for misleading government officials, registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department on Tuesday for lobbying work he did on behalf of the Turkish government during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Flynn registered with the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Unit, claiming $530,000 worth of work from August through November that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." It was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the former lieutenant general and intelligence chief.

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Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens who lobby for a foreign government must disclose their work to the Justice Department. Willfully failing to register is a felony, although the Justice Department rarely pursues such cases. Lobbying firms routinely get back in compliance by retroactively registering and disclosing their work.

A Turkish businessman who hired Flynn's consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group Inc., told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the amended filings were done after "political pressure." He told the AP that he did not agree with Flynn's decision to file the registration documents with the Justice Department.

The filings revealed that Flynn took on Turkish-related lobbying work in August while acting as a Trump surrogate. In October, he met with Turkish government officials in a New York hotel where they discussed the failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. Turkey has accused a cleric and U.S. resident Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the coup and have called for his extradition. According to the filings, Flynn's job was to collect information on Gulen and pressure U.S. officials to take action against him.

On Election Day, when Flynn had not yet registered himself as a foreign agent, The Hill published an op-ed he wrote calling for Gulen's extradition.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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