Here’s one angle to the Robert Mueller investigation that was entirely predictable.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now seeking documents from the White House on Michael Flynn and his personal arrangement to lobby for Turkey during the 2016 election. Specifically they are looking into the financial aspects and whether Flynn masked the lobbying payments made to him.
Before getting to the crux of the issue, CTH must remind everyone that back in November of 2016 when we first discovered (During the Transition) the possibility that Flynn was under consideration for ODNI or National Security Adviser role – WE WARNED this was going to be an issue – SEE HERE November 17th, 2016.
We knew even before the election this could be a problem. As far as we could surmise at the time – the Trump Campaign and subsequent President-Elect transition team, had no idea that campaign advocate and campaign adviser Michael Flynn was also being paid to lobby in DC on behalf of the government of Turkey, and Recep Erdogan.
The entire Flynn lobbying arrangement was beyond sketchy. Before the election Flynn penned an op-ed advocating heavily for Recep Erdogan –SEE HERE– The content was entirely disconnected from the assembled foreign policy outlook of Candidate Donald Trump. The Flynn Op-Ed was actually counter to candidate Trump’s policy views.
The disconnect was specifically noted in Trump’s public alliance with Egypt’s Fattah al-Sisi which was clear in their September 2016 meeting two months prior to the Flynn Op-Ed.
It was obvious there was no way Candidate Trump was aware of Flynn’s private lobbying agreement with Turkey (Recep Erdogan). The campaign would never have pre-authorized the public advocacy for Recep Erdogan. That simple understanding was the reason for our warning in November.
In short CTH knew that mess would become an issue in various ways because Flynn’s paid lobbying advocacy was counter to the expressed Mid-East policy of the President-Elect.
Unfortunately, it also makes reasonable sense, now as it did in November, that Flynn might use some shady financial technique to isolate/hide the inherent policy contradiction stemming from the lobbying problem he alone created.
In order for Michael Flynn to get the ODNI or NSA role, he was going to have to either: A) explain and reverse, or, B) retract and refund, or C) try to cloud/hide it. We feared the latter. Hence our warning.
Additionally, if I was to be completely wide open – in my heart-of-hearts – the reality of this part of the Flynn background is the real reason I believe Flynn was fired, and, well, more specifically, not much of an effort was put up to save him.
In essence the entire ‘Pence misleading on Russia angle’ was integrity strike #2, not the first. The first integrity strike was Flynn misleading, perhaps through omission, the Trump campaign on the Turkey lobbying issue.
I never expanded much beyond a few comments because sometimes it’s just better to let bygones be bygones and move forward. Flynn doesn’t present as a bad guy, and he’s not disloyal, but he put the President-Elect into a tough spot with an early integrity issue because of this Turkish Lobbying advocacy, and his subsequent financial arrangement.
Well, today it appears those Turkish chickens have come home to roost. And while I have no compunction to advocate or support Special Counsel Robert Mueller, on this specific issue I cannot state with intellectual honestly this is an unworthy aspect/angle to investigate. All of the critical events and dates did take place during the campaign of 2016.
If Flynn intentionally masked the method of payment, or concealed the source of origination, in order to avoid sunlight on the lobbying controversy, which would diminish his chances to get a job in the administration, well, Flynn has no-one to blame but himself.
While we can most certainly understand the need to earn an income, Flynn won’t find CTH defending him much on the issue of how he concealed the lobbying job and possible payments therein.
Despite President Trump’s warm feelings toward Flynn, he should also accept this trouble is Flynn’s alone. Actually, Trump should be a little miffed that Flynn’s self-interest clouded his judgement and as an outcome cast a shadow on the early days of the Trump administration.
Given the lobbying contract Flynn willingly, and seemingly quietly, accepted during the campaign; Flynn should have understood his position of advocacy was potentially damaging to Trump, and Flynn himself should never have looked for a job in the White House.
WASHINGTON — Investigators working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently asked the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and have questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign, according to people close to the investigation.
Though not a formal subpoena, the document request is the first known instance of Mr. Mueller’s team asking the White House to hand over records.
In interviews with potential witnesses in recent weeks, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents have spent hours poring over the details of Mr. Flynn’s business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked last year with Mr. Flynn and his consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group.
The company was paid $530,000 to run a campaign to discredit an opponent of the Turkish government who has been accused of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in the country.
Investigators want to know if the Turkish government was behind those payments — and if the Flynn Intel Group made kickbacks to the businessman, Ekim Alptekin, for helping conceal the source of the money. (read more)