DOJ drops charges against former Michael Flynn associate Bijan Rafiekian

 September 13, 2023

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s previous business partner, Bijan Rafiekian, just caught a massive break. 

According to the Daily Caller, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that it has dropped all charges against Rafiekian, according to a court filing made public.

Rafiekian had been accused of secretly lobbying for Turkey in 2016 while he was an executive for Flynn Intel Group without registering as a foreign agent.

The case against him was originally launched through Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe in the same year.

The court filing

President Joe Biden's DOJ indicated in a statement that it decided to end the five-year-old case against Rafiekian, citing a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit.

"The United States respectfully moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(a), to dismiss Counts One and Two of the indictment in this case with prejudice. Defendant Bijan Rafiekian is only charged in Counts One and Two of the indictment," the DOJ wrote.

"After carefully considering the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in this case and the principles of federal prosecution, the United States believes it is not in the public interest to pursue the case against defendant Bijan Rafiekian further," the Justice Department said this week.

"The strongest inference to be drawn from the evidence as a whole is that to the extent Turkey had recruited anyone as its agent, it was not Rafiekian, but Flynn because of his stature and his connections to then Presidential candidate Donald Trump," wrote Judge Anthony Trenga.

The Daily Caller noted that the case has been through the ringer, legally speaking, and has been tied up in the appeals process since the original charges.

Rafiekian was convicted by a jury in 2019, but Judge Anthony Trenga tossed the conviction due to “insufficient” evidence. The case then spent years in the appeals process, according to CNN.

Attorney's statement

Rafiekian's attorney released a statement following the DOJ's decision to drop the charges, adding that his client should have never been charged to begin with.

"Mr. Rafiekian has been the target of baseless federal prosecution for the past five years, only because he made the poor decision to be in business with Michael Flynn," attorney Mark MacDougall told The Washington Post.

Social media users pondered the possibility that he could now become a witness.

"Pay attention. He might end up as a witness," one X user wrote.

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