WASHINGTON (Rahnuma): A business partner of Michael Flynn, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser, was charged Monday with acting as an unregistered foreign agent lobbying for Turkey in the United States, the Washington Post reported.
The associate, Bijan Kian, appeared in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Monday morning, where he was charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act and ” conspiracy for attempting to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States,” the Post said.
Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, who paid Kian and Flynn, was also charged in the indictment, but he remained abroad, the newspaper added.
The Turkish government has accused Gulen, now living in exile in the U.S. state of New Jersey, of masterminding a failed coup attempt in 2016 to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and urged his deportation to Turkey.
Flynn is subject to the ongoing investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Flynn admitted that he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators about his conversation during the presidential transition with then Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
On Friday, Mueller released FBI memos indicating that Flynn lied about his contact with Kislyak not only to the FBI agents, but also to a number of Trump administration officials before he was approached by the FBI, according to a report by CNN.
Flynn is expected to be sentenced this week and the Mueller team has insisted on its recommendation that Flynn receive no jail time given his cooperation during the investigation, CNN said.