Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Say He Is No Longer Joining Lobbying Firm
An announcement on Tuesday that former national security advisor Michael Flynn joined a global consulting firm was due to a “misunderstanding,” his attorneys say.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday that Flynn took a position as a consultant for Stonington Global LLC., a lobbying firm founded by Nick Muzin, a former staffer for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Joey Allaham.
An announcement issued by the firm said that Flynn would “help private investors and sovereign-wealth funds develop and execute investment strategies.”
But Flynn lawyers Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony issued a statement after The Journal published its article stating that “General Flynn has not joined Stonington and did not personally issue any public statement.”
“He was aware that a statement was being drafted, but he did not intend that it be issued at this time,” Kelner and Anthony said.
Muzin and Allaham issued a statement of their own after the mix-up, saying: “We cannot comment on General Flynn’s considerations about the timing of the announcement, but we have faith in his patriotism and long history of service to our country. We look forward to working together.”
The announcement and subsequent retraction comes shortly after Flynn left a hearing in federal court in Washington regarding his case before the special counsel. Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 for making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn faces up to five years in prison for the charge, though he is expected to face between zero and six months in jail. He has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of the plea deal.
Flynn, who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration, has worked before as an international lobbyist. While a member of the Trump campaign, Flynn’s former consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, signed a $600,000 contract with a Dutch company operated by a Turkish businessman linked to the Turkish government. (RELATED: Michael Flynn Worked For Obscure Dutch Company With Links To Turkish Government)
Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent of Turkey in March 2017, amid an investigation by the Department of Justice.
Flynn’s contract called for him to lobby for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who is a political foe of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Flynn wrote an op-ed for The Hill on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, calling for Gulen’s removal from the U.S. The op-ed did not disclose that Flynn was being paid for the anti-Gulen campaign.
As part of Flynn’s plea deal, the special counsel’s office agreed not to charge him with any crimes related to his work for the Turkish government.
Muzin’s lobbying work has also put him in the public spotlight. He worked most recently on a $300,000-per-month contract with the government of Qatar. Elliott Broidy, a former Republican National Committee finance co-chairman, recently sued Muzin and the Qatari government, claiming that they hacked his personal email account. Broidy had links to the United Arab Emirates, a rival to the Qataris. (RELATED: Michael Flynn Charged With Making False Statements To The FBI)
Muzin and the Qatari government have denied the hacking allegations.
According to TheWSJ’s initial reporting, Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr., was also slated to join Stonington Global. The updated report does not mention him.
This article has been updated to reflect changes in The Wall Street Journal’s reporting.
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