Saturday, November 19, 2016
Michael Flynn Reported to National Security AAG for Possible Violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act
President-Elect Donald Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been reported to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Mary McCord, yesterday for possibly breaking the law by failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to a press release issued by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump.
On September 15, 2016, Lt. Gen. Flynn and his company, The Flynn Intel Group, signed a contract with Dutch company Inovo BV, an apparent arm of Inovo Turkije which has contracts with the Turkish government, to lobby on appropriations bills, and to keep the company informed about the transition between President Obama and President-elect Trump. Inovo BV’s founder, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, is known for having a close relationship with President Erdogan of Turkey. On Election Day, Flynn published an op-ed in The Hill, advocating for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish exile who is blamed for inciting the military coup last summer. The op-ed is in line with the goals of Erdogan’s government.
While foreign agents who disclose lobbying activity for foreign principals under the Lobbying Disclosure Act are exempt from registering under FARA, lobbying for foreign governments or political parties is never exempted, and it is unclear whether or not Flynn's activities qualifies for this exemption. Neither Flynn nor his company ever registered under FARA.
“Lieutenant General Flynn, who now holds the top national security position in the White House, has years of questionable relationships working with foreign governments,” said Scott Dworkin, Senior Advisor to the Coalition. “If we can’t trust him to be transparent by filling out a simple form, how can we trust him to secure our country at the highest level,” Dworkin asked.
(Adapted from a DCAT Press Release)