As Russia probe widens, Special Counsel Mueller targets Michael Flynn’s Son
Special Counsel Robert Mueller III is broadening the scope of his investigation into whether the campaign of then candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russian intelligence officials to meddle in the 2016 presidential elections.
His newest target is Michael G. Flynn, the son of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to current and former national security officials.
The probe into Flynn is focused mainly on his work at Flynn Intel Group, the firm owned by his father Michael Flynn. It is not clear when Mueller expanded his investigation to include Flynn’s son.
Flynn’s lawyer, Barry Coburn declined to comment when the media reached out to him this morning.
This probe into Michael G. Flynn’s activities greatly expands the scope of Mueller’s investigations. Besides Flynn, Mueller is also probing roles played by his father Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s friend, Carter Page, Trump son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner, president’s son Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
While working in his father’s firm, he was said to have worked closely with the senior Flynn who used his connections to foreign governments especially Russia and Turkey to benefit the company.
Experts say that Mueller may be trying to get to the senior Flynn through his son.
“By investigating his son, Mueller may be looking to pressure Michael Flynn to co-operate with the investigation into Trump and his business dealing with the Russians,” said a source with knowledge of the probe.
“Any time a family member is identified as a subject that does increase pressure,” said Peter Smith, a former federal prosecutor. “In the typical parent-child relationship the last thing any parent would want is for their child to get in trouble for something they initiated.”
It is not clear when the investigation into Michael G. Flynn’s activities began or how far it has gone but Mueller’s team is said to be aware that he visited Moscow in December 2015 and may have met with Russian intelligence officials and others close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In that 2015 visit to Moscow, he watched his father deliver a speech at a gathering sponsored by RT, the Russian television network. Video evidence shows he was also in other events and met with government officials while in Moscow..
Records released by the House Oversight Committee show that Michael Flynn was paid $34,000 for the speech in Moscow. RT also paid for the airfare and hotel accommodations for himself and his son while they were in Moscow for the gala.
Michael Flynn is a retired Army lieutenant general and a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He was seen seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Moscow gala.
Sources said The Flynn Intel Group was paid $530,000 last year by the Turkish government. According to the Justice Department, he was hired by a Turkish businessman to gather information about Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric residing in Pennsylvania whom the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating an attempted coup there in July 2016.
Michael Flynn was fired by President Donald Trump in February as national Security Adviser following revelations that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russian government officials notably the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
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