Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who last month was forced out of his job as national security advisor for the Trump administration, has registered as a foreign agent with the US Justice Department for work that might have helped the government of Turkey.
Flynn was paid $530,000 for his services, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Flynn voluntarily registered with the Justice Department, which requires more extensive transparency than Congress, with which Flynn had previously disclosed his work for a company owned by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin that “could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey,” Flynn’s lawyer said.
“[Flynn’s company] was hired to lobby Congress by a Dutch company called Inovo BV that was founded by a Turkish businessman who holds a top position on Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board,” a November report in The Daily Caller had said.
The Daily Caller report also said that Inovo BV’s address was filed with Congress in a lobbying disclosure report but failed to list anyone affiliated with the company. But the website “tracked down Dutch business registration records that show Alptekin founded the company in 2005. The financial consulting firm, which Alptekin does not acknowledge on his bio, also has an affiliate, Inovo Turkije.“
According to the new paperwork filed with Justice, Flynn Intel Group Inc. accepted lobbying work related to Turkey last August and halted it in November, when his company ceased operations. Flynn was a Trump campaign surrogate at the time of the services performed.
The filing states that Flynn Intel Group was invited in September by Alptekin to meet with Turkish officials, including Turkey’s foreign affairs and energy ministers, in New York. Although the documents filed did not give the names of the ministers, they said that the two worked for the Turkish government “to the best of Flynn Intel Group’s current understanding.”
Turkey’s minister of energy, Berat Albayrak, is the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.