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In First Formal Request, Mueller Asks White House For Flynn Documents

In the first known case of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team asking the White House to hand over records, investigators working for Mueller - who is investigating whether President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia and who last week reportedly empanelled a grand jury -  have asked the White House for documents related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the New York Times reported late on Friday.

Prosecutors and FBI agents "have spent hours poring over the details of Mr. Flynn’s business dealings with a Turkish-American businessman who worked last year with Mr. Flynn and his consulting business, the Flynn Intel Group" the Times reports. The company was paid $530,000 to run a campaign to discredit an opponent of the Turkish government who has been accused of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in the country. Flynn’s campaign to discredit Erdogan's opponent, Fethullah Gulen, began on Aug. 9 when his firm signed a $600,000 deal with Inovo BV, a Dutch company owned by a Turkish-American businessman.

Reuters reported in June that according to a subpoena, federal prosecutors in Virginia were investigating a deal between Flynn and Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin as part of a grand jury criminal probe.  Investigators want to know if the Turkish government was behind those payments — and if the Flynn Intel Group made kickbacks to the businessman, Ekim Alptekin, for helping conceal the source of the money.

Prosecutors have also asked during interviews about Mr. Flynn’s speaking engagements for Russian companies, for which he was paid more than $65,000 in 2015, and about his company’s clients — including work it may have done with the Japanese government.

 

They have also asked about the White Canvas Group, a data-mining company that was reportedly paid $200,000 by the Trump campaign for unspecified services. The Flynn Intel Group shared office space with the White Canvas Group, which was founded by a former Special Operations officer who was a friend of Mr. Flynn’s.

Furthermore, Flynn has filed three versions of his financial-disclosure forms, as his first version did not disclose payments from Russia-linked companies, which he added to an amended version of the forms he submitted in March. This week he filed a third version, adding that he briefly had a contract with SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm that worked with the Trump campaign.

The new forms list at least $1.8 million in income, up from roughly the $1.4 million he had previously reported. It is unclear how much of that money was related to work Mr. Flynn did on Turkey issues.

The new line of questioning suggests that Mueller’s inquiry has expanded into a full-fledged examination of Flynn’s financial dealings, the Times reports, beyond disclosures about his conversations and business arrangements with Russian officials and the relatively narrow question of whether he failed to register as a foreign agent or lied about his conversations and business arrangements with Russian officials.

As a reminder, Flynn - who lasted only 24 days as national security advisor - resigned from the Trump administration in February after reports surfaced he had misled senior White House officials about his past conversations with Kremlin officials. Flynn declined to comment for the Times report, while Trump's special counsel Ty Cobb stressed that the White House was cooperating with the probe.

"The White House will not be discussing any specific communications with the Special Counsel out of respect for the Special Counsel and his process. Beyond that, as I have stressed repeatedly, we continue to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel," Cobb said in a statement.