Federal Judge Tosses Conviction Against General Flynn’s Former Associate Bijan Rafiekian – ‘Govt Failed to Offer Substantial Evidence’
In a major blow to the DOJ National Security Division, a federal judge tossed out a conviction against General Flynn’s former lobbying partner, Bijan Rafiekian.
A federal jury in July found General Flynn’s associate Bijan Rafiekian guilty of illegally lobbying for Turkey after just 4 hours of deliberation — but Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee, dismissed the indictment because of ‘insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction.’
“The evidence was insufficient as a matter of law for the jury to convict Rafiekian on either count,” Judge Trenga wrote in a 39-page memorandum on Tuesday.
“There is no substantial evidence” that he agreed to cooperate subject to the direction/control of Turkey; no evidence of any implied agreement with Turkey.
“There is no evidence of discussions or suggestions, let alone an agreement, express or implied, to either avoid filing under FARA or to cause the filing of a false FARA registration statement,” Judge Trenga wrote.
BREAKING: Court grants Motion for Acquittal for Bijan Rafiekian (Flynn Intel Group/Turkey/FARA case).
"The evidence was insufficient as a matter of law for the jury to convict Rafiekian on either count"
Huge blow to DOJ National Security Division. pic.twitter.com/bOPdMoHpeb
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) September 24, 2019
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?
In July prior to the conviction, Judge Trenga was contemplating throwing the case out of court after saying the government’s evidence was “very speculative,” however, he ultimately allowed the case to move forward — on Tuesday, Trenga made a rare decision to toss the conviction.
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 evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain either of Rafiekian’s convictions, and the Motion for Acquittal is therefore GRANTED. Should the Court’s judgment of acquittal be later vacated/reversed… the motion for New Trial is conditionally granted,” Judge Trenga wrote in conclusion.
Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell celebrated the decision by Judge Trenga.
— Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) September 24, 2019