By İlhan Tanır
After Trump had won the presidential election, I predicted on November 12that the first scandal in the President’s cabinet could be related to General Flynn not disclosing his association with what appears to be Turkish government tied company in an article he wrote for The Hill.Now, four months after he was expelled from the White House, Flynn’s latest scandal is linked to Turkey again.
Mike Flynn, who for some reason did not feel the need to disclose his lobbying activities for Turkey previously, retroactively filed his paperwork to the Justice Department on Tuesday admitting that his firm actively lobbied on behalf of the Republic of Turkey (from August through November). On the other hand, Ekim Alptekin, the owner of the Turkish company Inovo BV, told Washington Hattı that he disagreed with Flynn’s decision to register the FARA papers. He stated that he is a businessman with no relationship to the government and that his activities were not on behalf of the Turkish government.
There are different opinions about why Flynn preferred to file the records just now. According to Ekim Alptekin, the reason is ‘the political pressure’ from the Ministry of Justice.
Flynn Could Be in Serious Trouble
An article published on Thursday in the Foreign Policy magazine, titled “Why Mike Flynn Could Be in Trouble – Again,” speculated that Flynn’s failure to disclose the business relation could be subject to a ‘felony’ charge and that he might be even facing a jail sentence.
Conservative Washington news portal The DailyCaller reporter Chuck Ross who was the first the first to report about Flynn’s Turkish association shared a few questions from his Twitter account on Thursday. He tweeted that, Flynn, Trump, and Sessions met Egypt’s el-Sisi on the same day Ekim Alptekin introduced the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak to Flynn, on September 19th. The first meeting was reported yet the meeting with the Turkish ministers was not.
While I was writing this article, the White House Press Secretary was asked a question about Flynn meeting with the Turkish officials. Sean Spicer said that he is “unaware” of the conversation with Turkish politicians, which seems that the White House is trying to distance itself from Flynn related embarrassment.
Ross also tweeted that Flynn’s Intelligence Group had two meetings with members of the House Homeland Security Committee at the Congress and that the issue of Gulen was discussed during the second meeting but the members of Congressional Committee turned off by this approachment.
530 Thousand Dollars for an Article and a Few Meetings!
It seems that Flynn’s group received $ 530,000 from Inovo BV for an article and a few interviews. Also, Flynn’s Intel Group showed a revenue of $ 5,000 from the lobbying contract with Inovo in December. However, the correct amount appeared to be 530 thousand dollars this week.
Questions About the Payment Plan
Finally, Flynn Intel Group received two payments from Ekim Alptekin’s company Inovo BV for $200,000 on September 9th and $ 185,000 on October 11th. On the other hand, Flynn Intel Group made two repayments to Inovo for the amount of $ 40,000 a few days after both payments.
In other words, just four days after Inovo’s September 9, 2016, installment of $200,000, on September 13th, Flynn’s company sent a $40,000 repayment to Inovo.
Again six days after Inovo’s $185,000 payment on October 11, Flynn Company sent another $40,000 refund for consulting expenses. Both payments were disclosed as ‘consultancy fees.’
When I directed this question to Ekim Alptekin, he explained that the Flynn Group reimbursed them for not fulfilling the lobbying and PR aspects of the contract.
I am just going to put Alptekin’s statement here. The two repayments at about %20 of the original contract as ‘consultancy fees’ looks interesting at first sight.
Finally, the paperwork shows that Flynn has received $ 4,000 from his own Intel Group after his appointment as the National Security Adviser on November 17th. This issue might become problematic.
It’s obvious that Flynn is as ‘clumsy’ as claimed to be. The whisper around Washington was that he punched some co-workers while during DIA who disagreed with his approach or asked questions that he did not like. He could only serve 24 days as the National Security Adviser because of his clumsiness.
It seems like his clumsiness did not only get him fired from one of the most important seats at the White House but it is going to continue to linger around for sometime to come.