Flynn joins consulting firm ahead of sentencing

Former Gen. Michael Flynn has joined a consulting firm as he awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, according to a statement from the firm.

Posted: Jul 11, 2018 6:26 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2018 6:28 PM

Attorneys for Michael Flynn said Tuesday that he had not joined a consulting firm as he awaits sentencing and called an announcement from the firm issued hours earlier to the contrary a "misunderstanding."

"The Wall Street Journal reported today that Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael T. Flynn has joined the firm Stonington Global LLC and quoted a statement that it attributed to General Flynn. General Flynn has not joined Stonington and did not personally issue any public statement. He was aware that a statement was being drafted, but he did not intend that it be issued at this time. Its issuance now in his name appears to have been the result of a misunderstanding," Flynn attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony said in a statement to CNN.

A statement on Tuesday from the firm Stonington Global LLC said Flynn was joining the nascent group as director of global strategy.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report the announcement declaring Flynn's return to the consulting world following his ouster from the Trump administration and ensuing guilty plea last year. Lobbyist Nick Muzin and partner Joey Allaham told the Journal they did not know Flynn but that Allaham had approached him about the role due to the retired general's experience.

The pair told the Journal that Flynn's son, Michael Flynn Jr., was joining Stonington as well, and that Flynn would need to step away temporarily if he goes to jail.

Stonington's statement included remarks from Flynn, which said in part: "I will work every day to put my over 33 years of experience in the defense, intelligence, and national security communities as well as serving Presidents of both parties in the White House to good use in helping companies and governments enhance the goals of freedom and liberty."

Flynn's lawyers, however, said Flynn was aware the statement was being drafted but the retired general "did not intend that it be issued at this time."

Flynn had appeared at a hearing in a Washington federal court earlier Tuesday, where Kelner told Judge Emmet Sullivan that Flynn was "eager to proceed to sentencing."

Flynn, who was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, went on to become a prominent supporter of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. After Trump's victory in 2016, Flynn was named national security adviser but left the role shortly after Trump's inauguration amid controversy over his statements to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador. Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to investigators and is awaiting sentencing as Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation continues.

Officials told CNN ahead of Trump's inauguration that the transition team had requested a security clearance for Flynn's son, who has developed a pugnacious Twitter presence and spread hoaxes online, including "Pizzagate."

Muzin, until recently, was a registered lobbyist for Qatar. Elliott Broidy, a top Trump fundraiser who came under fire when his private emails detailing his business ties in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere were hacked and offered to news outlets, has accused Muzin and Stonington Global of being involved in the hack, helping Qatari officials. Muzin has repeatedly denied these accusations and said his knowledge of the breach came from his interactions with journalists seeking comment on the stories about Broidy's emails. Broidy has sued Muzin, along with Qatari officials and several former Western intelligence officials. Muzin is trying to get the case against him dismissed with prejudice.

This story has been updated with a statement from Flynn's lawyers.

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