Bijan Kian, a former business partner of Michael Flynn, is charged with acting as a foreign agent and conspiracy, The Washington Post reported Monday, for his efforts to secure the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Flynn, who was President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, is identified in the indictment as “Person A”, the Post noted.
Bijan Kian made his first appearance in Alexandria federal court Monday morning. According to the indictment, Kian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby U.S. government officials and influence public opinion in the U.S. against Gulen.
Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin is accused of directing and funding Kian and Flynn’s work, and then lying in U.S. filings about his role. He is charged with the same crimes as Kian, as well as making false statements, but he remains in Turkey.
Flynn is currently awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI in relation to the special counsel’s investigation of Russian election interference in 2016.
Prosecutors asked for no prison time for Flynn, citing his “substantial assistance.”
The Turkish government blames Gulen, who is living in exile in Pennsylvania, for instigating a failed coup in 2016.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-GA) warned the Trump administration, particularly Vice President Michael Pence (the head of the Trump transition team), about Flynn's shady dealings on behalf of Turkey. Pence later denied receiving such a warning even though the warning was in writing.