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Flynn's ex-business associates charged with illegal Turkish lobbying

 Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, leaves following his plea hearing
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Two of Michael Flynn's former business associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin, were charged on Monday with illegally lobbying for the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims engineered a failed coup in 2016.

Why it matters: "The indictment is further evidence of a broad crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying growing from the inquiry by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who has investigated foreign flows of money from Ukraine, Turkey and other countries designed to manipulate decision-making in Washington," the New York Times reports.

Details: The two men were charged with a conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules in a federal court in Alexandria, Va. Alptekin was also charged with lying to the FBI. Mueller had referred this case to Virginia prosecutors earlier this year.

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