Michael Flynn's Business Partner Indicted Ahead of Trump Aide's Sentencing

The case unsealed today against Flynn's former business partner, Bijan Kian, and Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin, accuses the two men of conspiring to "covertly and unlawfully" influence US politicians on behalf of Turkey.

Rafiekian and Alptekin also discussed writing the op-ed against Gulen, according to the indictment.

The discussions revolved around signing an agreement with Flynn Intel Group, a private consulting and lobbying company that Flynn owns. Alptekin, a dual Turkish-Dutch citizen living in Istanbul whose full name is Kamil Ekim Alpetekin, remains at large.

According to an indictment unsealed on Monday, Rafiekian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby United States government officials and influence public opinion in the U.S. against Gulen, the Washington Post reported. U.S. Department of Justice attorneys allege the two business associates "sought to discredit and delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of politicians and the public, and ultimately to secure the Turkish citizen's extradition".

"We are ready to engage on what needs to be done", Kian wrote Alptekin, on July 27.

Along with the editorial, the Flynn Intel Group produced a report on Mr Gulen and video for a documentary that was never made.

That same month, according to the indictment, Flynn, Kian, and Alptekin met with high-level Turkish officials in NY to discuss the campaign. His case was connected to new charges unveiled on Monday against associates of Michael Flynn. But in October, Alptekin complained that there had been no "smoking gun". The column uses the same comparison between Gulen and Khomeini. "This is a very high profile exposure one day before the election".

He faces sentencing on Tuesday. Prosecutors asked that he receive no prison time, citing his "substantial assistance".

Their alleged lies are the same that Flynn copped to in his December 2017 plea agreement.

Earlier this year the probe was handed off to the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia to handle.

In the article, Flynn called Gulen a "shady Islamic mullah" and "radical Islamist" who should be removed from the U.S.to improve relations with Turkey. While the event was being held, there was a violent clash between Turkish guards and protesters outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington.

The indictment describes Kian and Flynn as co-founders of Alexandria-based Flynn Intel Group, which is listed in the indictment only as "Company A".

Allegations that Flynn lobbied on behalf of the Turkish government are not new.

On Friday, Mueller released FBI memos indicating that Flynn lied about his contact with Kislyak not only to the FBI agents, but also to a number of Trump administration officials before he was approached by the FBI, according to a report by CNN.

The conspirators "sought to hide that the Government of Turkey was directing the work", according to the indictment.

A representative for Alptekin, 41, who was charged with six criminal counts, said she did not immediately have a comment.

The Flynn Intel Group also falsely claimed that a meeting in NY with Turkish officials on September 19, 2016, was just for background on the country, prosecutors say.

Flynn, a retired three-star general, pleaded guilty past year to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about conversations he had with the then-Russian ambassador.