POLITICS
07/10/2018 05:41 pm ET Updated Jul 11, 2018

Michael Flynn's Lawyers Say He's Not Joining Consulting Firm, Contrary To WSJ Report (UPDATE)

His attorneys said a statement attributed to the former national security adviser was released due to "a misunderstanding."
Michael Flynn is likely ready to move beyond his Trump-related troubles, but not just yet.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Michael Flynn is likely ready to move beyond his Trump-related troubles, but not just yet.

UPDATE: 7:35 p.m. ― Lawyers for Michael Flynn said Tuesday evening that the former Trump national security adviser was not joining a global consulting firm, contrary to a report earlier in the day. 

In a statement to HuffPost, attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony said: “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.”

Representatives for the consulting firm Stonington, which had said it would work with Flynn to set up Stonington Global LLC, declined to comment on “the timing of the announcement.”

“We cannot comment on General Flynn’s considerations about the timing of the announcement, but we have faith in his patriotism and long history of service to our country,” Stonington’s Nick Muzin and consultant Joey Allaham told HuffPost after Flynn’s lawyers disputed the report. “We look forward to working together.”

PREVIOUSLY: Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal agents, is slated to begin a new job working for a global consulting firm.

Flynn will join forces with Washington lobbyist Nick Muzin and restaurateur-turned-consultant Joey Allaham in a new business called Stonington Global LLC, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

“He has experience all over the world,” Allaham told the Journal. “He can do a lot for us. We are very lucky to get a man like that.”

In a statement to the Journal, Flynn said he was “excited to begin this new phase” of his career.

“I will work every day to put my 33 years of experience in the military and 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 said.

Muzin and Allaham said the retired general’s son, Mike Flynn Jr., will also be joining the firm.

On Tuesday, Michael Flynn appeared in federal court in Washington for the first time since pleading guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russian government to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is set to receive a final status report on the case from prosecutors and defense by Aug. 24.

In response to the defense team’s request for faster sentencing, Sullivan said he might reduce the usual time between the status update and sentencing by 30 days, NBC News reported.

The government has said that Flynn “willfully and knowingly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” in an interview with FBI agents on Jan. 24, 2017. They said he hid multiple contacts with Russia during President Donald Trump’s transition, including a discussion about sanctions with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a meeting with Kislyak to talk about creating a backchannel between the transition team and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mueller’s team reportedly investigated Flynn’s history of suspicious business dealings and financial ties to Russia, as well as his former lobbying firm and its dealings with Turkey.

Flynn stepped down as Trump’s national security adviser in February 2017 and pleaded guilty in December. Lying to the FBI carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. But as part of his plea deal, Flynn agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the ongoing Russia probe and, according to court documents, likely faces a sentence of zero to six months in prison.

Muzin and Allaham told the Journal that they have no concerns about Flynn’s ethics and are confident he won’t face jail time.

Flynn’s new business partners previously worked together on an effort to improve Americans’ image of Qatar by connecting prominent Qataris with U.S. Jewish leaders and Trump associates. Muzin is a defendant in Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy’s lawsuit against Qatar, in which he accuses the Persian Gulf nation of hacking his emails.

The consultants cut ties with Qatar last month and deny any involvement in the hack.

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