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Prosecutors indicted Michael Flynn’s former business partner on charges that he was part of an illegal lobbying campaign for the Turkish government to get its hands on a dissident cleric in Pennsylvania, Fethullah Gulen. The indictment didn’t come from the special counsel’s office and it targeted Flynn’s business partner, Bijan Kian, not Flynn himself. Nonetheless, the charges flesh out an emerging portrait of foreign influence efforts during the 2016 campaign that go beyond just meddling from the Kremlin.
Serving two governments: The dates listed in Monday’s indictment tell their own story about how Flynn’s work for the Turkish government went on simultaneously with his work for the Trump government-in-waiting. Prosecutors say Flynn’s business partner Bijan Kian had a “detailed discussion with Flynn” about “what needs to be done”—presumably a reference to the lobbying proposal—on July 26, 2016, barely a week after the Republican party nominated Trump as its candidate. By September, the money for the lobbying started arriving in Flynn’s bank account. On election day in November, The Hill published Flynn’s op-ed bearing Kian’s Gulen talking points.