Report: Investigators Dig Deeper Into Michael Flynn’s Ties To Russia
By Nathan Layne and Julia Edwards Ainsley
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal investigators probing the lobbying work of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn are focused in part on the role of Bijan Kian, Flynn’s former business partner, according to a person interviewed by the FBI.
Investigators are also looking at whether payments from foreign clients to Flynn and his company, the now-inactive Flynn Intel Group, were lawful, according to two separate sources with knowledge of the broad inquiry into Flynn’s business activities. That includes payments by three Russian companies and a Netherlands-based company, Inovo, controlled by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, they said.
The FBI’s interest in Kian has not been previously reported. Kian played a central role in securing and overseeing the Inovo contract, two people with knowledge of that project said.
It is not clear whether Kian is a target of the criminal investigation or whether investigators are trying to build a fuller understanding of how Flynn’s company operated.
A person recently interviewed by the FBI in connection with the Flynn investigation said agents from the bureau’s criminal division had asked as much about Kian and his work on the project with Alptekin as they had about Flynn.
Kian did not respond to repeated requests for comment, nor did the lawyer he recently hired, Robert Trout. The FBI declined to comment.
Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, did not respond to requests for comment. Alptekin declined to comment for this story but last month told Reuters that he was satisfied with the work done by Flynn Intel Group and denied any wrongdoing.
The FBI has been investigating whether Flynn’s consulting firm lobbied on behalf of Turkey – after being paid $530,000 by Inovo – without making the proper disclosure, Reuters reported earlier this month.
The federal investigation is being run by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller […]