The swamp is truly as damp, fetid, and festering as ever. Jurors in the Bijan Kian (Rafiekian) case have been informed that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was actively involved with his personal consulting group, Flynn Intel Group, in lobbying efforts paid for by a Turkish businessman, according to Politico. It should be noted that it is unclear whether this businessman is connected to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Said businessman paid $600,000 to have Flynn’s group make an effort to disparage President Erdogan’s enemy, Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen. Gulen presently lives in the United States.
After complaints from the Turkish businessman, one of Flynn’s employees wrote vis-a-vis this transaction that “Republican Presidential candidate has not defended subject’s home country publicly. He should specifically ask questions about subject’s operations and funding.”
Let’s take a couple steps back and put this into context. We know that people interested in currying favor or hobnobbing with Trump go to where he can be easily accessed: Mar-a-Lago. Here’s a quote from a report by the Guardian regarding just some of the motley crew who have managed to essentially buy facetime with the man who can start a nuclear war at the drop of a hat: “This year’s cast of notable characters includes the Chinese former owner of a massage parlour snared in a high-profile prostitution sting, a Russian investor wanted in his home country for tax fraud and a cosmetic dentist who influenced Trump’s thinking on veterans’ care by writing policy advice on a cocktail napkin.” Let that sink in.
So here we have Trump’s first National Security Adviser illegally acting as a foreign agent, either manipulating Trump to be friendly to Turkey or acting as a conduit for Turkey to Trump so that he’ll be friendly to Turkey, maybe with bribery involved. Look at what Trump said about Erdogan in 2017, early in his presidency and well after Flynn left: “He’s running a very difficult part of the world. He’s involved very, very strongly and, frankly, he’s getting very high marks.” Trump praising a demi-dictator? Not unusual, not illegal. Trump praising a demi-dictator who might have had an indirect hand in some of Trump’s ill-gotten gains? Not surprising, but highly illegal and highly treasonous.
The things I’m left wondering after all this are whether Trump saw any of this $600,000, whether Erdogan is involved in any way, and whether his highly suspect and expensive inauguration had anything to do with this greater scandal. In this swamp, you’ll need a full diving suit if you want to make it out the other side.
Democracy thrives in snarkiness