WASHINGTON -- President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn is not only under scrutiny for his dealings with Russia -- special counsel Robert Mueller is also reportedly investigating whether Flynn was involved in a plot to kidnap a Turkish cleric.
In the weeks before he became national security advisor, the Wall Street Journal reports thatto discuss a plan to forcibly return a cleric legally living in the United States to Turkey. In exchange, the Journal says, Flynn and his associates would receive up to $15 million.
The cleric ---- has been blamed by Turkey's president for a failed coup in July 2016. Gulen denies being involved.
That December meeting was at least the second between Flynn and Turkish representatives.
"I needed to say something about it," former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN in March.
Woolsey said he was at another meeting in September 2016 when the forced removal of Gulen was also discussed. He says he has been in touch with the special counsel's office.
"I'm not claiming there was a concrete plan that was being fleshed out at the meeting, but there was a good deal of discussion of that general direction," Woolsey said.
In a statement, Flynn's attorneys said the allegations "ranging from kidnapping to bribery" are "outrageous" and "false."
But in a recent federal filing, Flynn confirmed the September meeting and that his consulting firm was paid $530,000 by a company with ties to the Turkish government.
Bill Mateja, a former federal prosecutor, says special counselmay be trying to get Flynn to cooperate.
"Hypothetically, they're going to get the benefit of his knowledge and knowledge at very high levels within the campaign and the administration," Mateja said.
In January and February, Mr. Trump urged FBI Director James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. Those conversations led to Comey's eventual firing and the appointment of the special counsel.