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.

FARA requires every agent of a foreign principal to register with the Department of Justice within 10 days of agreeing to become an agent, in an effort to “insure that the U.S. Government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.” Anyone who knowingly breaks FARA can be subjected to up to 5 years in prison, or a $10,000 fine.

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.

According the complaint submitted by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump to Assistant Attorney General McCord, if Flynn conducted political or quasi-political activities seeking to influence the government or public of the United States on behalf of a foreign principal, he was required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to have disclosed detailed information to the Department of Justice.
By publicly advocating for policies on behalf of President Erdogan and the Turkish government while working for Kamil Ekim Alptekin and Inovo BV, especially by penning the op-ed in The Hill and failing to register with the Department of Justice as foreign agent, Flynn may have violated FARA.

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.

In addition to his role as a lobbyist for Inovo BV, Flynn has other questionable relationships to foreign governments. In this video, he can be seen giving a standing ovation for Vladimir Putin at the 10th anniversary celebration of propaganda network RT in Russia. In addition, he can be seen sitting right next to Putin at a dinner in Russia on page 28 of this report outlining Trump’s connections to Russia.

“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)

| Permalink


Post a comment