JUST IN: General Flynn’s Associate Found Guilty of Illegally Lobbying For Turkey – Faces Up to 15 Years in Prison
A federal jury on Tuesday found General Flynn’s associate Bijan Rafiekian guilty of illegally lobbying for Turkey after just 4 hours of deliberation.
Rafiekian, 67, faces up to 15 years in prison on the two felony counts against him: acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the U.S., and conspiracy to violate that law as well as to submit false statements to the Justice Department in a foreign-agent filing. Defendants are typically sentenced in accord with federal sentencing guidelines that result in far less than the maximum.
67-year-old Rafiekian, an Iranian-American and former business partner of Flynn’s was caught up in Mueller’s Russian collusion witch hunt — for his work with Turkey.
Mueller investigated a $600,000 contract and public relations work Rafekian did and determined he was working as an unregistered foreign agent while he worked for the Flynn Intel Group.
In the summer of 2016, a Turkish businessman named Ekim Alptekin paid the Flynn Intel Group (through a Dutch shell company) $600,000 to investigate a Turkish cleric living in the United States — the Turkish cleric, Fetullah Gulen was living in exile after the Turkish government accused him of masterminding a failed coup in July of 2016.
What does this have to do with Russian collusion?
Last week, Judge Trenga almost threw this case out of court after saying the government’s evidence was “very speculative,” however, he ultimately allowed the case to move forward.
Government prosecutors even admitted that they did not have evidence that the Turkish government actually paid the $600,000 contract to investigate Gulen, but that they have emails from Flynn, Rafiekian and Alptekin that suggest the Turkish government was being kept up to date on the investigation.
The US government planned to call General Flynn in as a witness, however at the last minute they moved to designate Flynn as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Rafiekian.
The government also tried to intimidate the younger Flynn, Mike Flynn Jr. and named him as a government witness — Prosecutors ended up not calling in Mike Flynn Jr. as a witness.