This is kind of a big deal.
Daily Caller has the story:
Two former business partners of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s have been indicted as part of a secret Turkish lobbying scheme, which involved kickback payments made to a Turkish businessman with links to the Turkish government.
Indictments against the two Flynn associates, Bijan Rafiekian and Ekim Alptekin, were unsealed in federal court in Virginia on Monday.
They are both charged with conspiracy to operate as unregistered foreign agents and lying to the FBI. In the indictments, Rafiekian and Alptekin are accused of operating at the direction of Turkish government officials to use the Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm founded by Flynn, to obtain the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a foe of the Turkish government who is living in exile in the U.S.
Emails cited in the indictment show Alptekin and Rafiekian discussing budgets submitted by Turkish officials.
Rafiekian, a former director for the Export-Import Bank, was a partner at Flynn Intel Group, which Flynn founded after retiring from the military in 2014.
In August 2016, Flynn Intel signed a $600,000 contract with Inovo BV, a Dutch shell company operated by Alptekin, whose trade group is indirectly controlled by the Turkish government.
Much more at the link -- none of it good.
None of this makes Flynn's plea deal any more just... except maybe it was the best deal he could get. The DC story concludes with: "As part of his plea deal, Flynn would not be face any charges related to his false statements about his Turkish lobbying efforts."
Looks to me like Flynn copped to a lesser plea -- one designed to harm Trump, no less -- in order to escape far more serious charges.
This might be my favorite photoshop of all time.
What were UPS's social media gurus thinking?
There are plenty of great responses, including these:
If other shipping companies were smart they'd take full advantage of this blunder.
"Anybody can beat him."
When asked why he thinks he can beat President Donald Trump in 2020, former vice president Joe Biden insisted "I think anybody can beat him."
PJ Media's own Nicholas Ballasy caught the comment and reported it on The Intercept.
While speaking at a recent event promoting his new book, “American Promise,” Biden said, “I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.”
After delivering an address at the Lantos Foundation’s 10th anniversary gala, where he was recognized with a legacy award, Biden was asked specifically by The Intercept why he thinks he’s the most qualified person to take on Trump.
“You don’t run for president unless you think you are qualified,” Biden replied.
“Why do you think you could beat President Trump? Why is this your time?” the former Delaware senator was asked.
“I think anybody can beat him,” Biden responded.
Many Democrats may be able to defeat Trump, but it will remain a difficult challenge for whomever the Democrats nominate. Biden is overconfident, in my estimation.
Lamar Alexander will not run for re-election in 2020.
One of Tennessee's Republican senators will step down in 2021, letting someone else run for the seat in 2020.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) won the other Senate seat this year, despite Taylor Swift endorsing her challenger.