The fall of Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Adviser for less than a month, was swift even by Washington standards. And it appears that Flynn is not done with the legal system just yet: He has only just registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department and likely violated the law by failing to do so promptly.
The Associated Press is reporting that Flynn registered with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent, specifically due to $530,000 worth of work done between August and November 2016 for Inovo BV. At the time, Flynn Intel Group, his lobbying firm, claimed on House disclosure forms that there was no material investment by a foreign entity in the firm, run by Ekim Alptekin, who oddly took to Twitter to disclaim the idea that Flynn had lobbied for the Turkish government.
To be fair, Alptekin is involved in some fairly standard business lobbying, and Flynn may simply be covering his bases. Alptekin happens to be a member of the Turkey-US Business Council, or TAIK, which is the American committee of Turkish lobbying group the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, which in turn has connections to the Turkish government. So while Flynn was not working directly for the Turkish government, some of what he did may benefit it.
Of course, the main problem for Flynn is that declaring himself a foreign agent after failing to disclose contact between himself and the Russian government doesn’t look good in the first place. But this also raises the question why he’d do this now, with his life under a microscope. It’s especially curious because failing to register lobbying work for a foreign entity promptly is technically a felony, although it’s one rarely pursued by the Justice Department.
(via The Daily Beast)