(Bloomberg) -- Lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who’s awaiting sentencing for lying about his contacts with Russia, said Tuesday he hasn’t joined a new global consulting firm, despite a statement from the company earlier in the day announcing his hire.
“He was aware that a statement was being drafted, but he did not intend that it be issued at this time,” the lawyers, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony, said in their own statement. They added that the announcement by the firm’s founders, which included a quote from Flynn, "appears to have been the result of a misunderstanding."
The lawyers didn’t address whether Flynn would later join the firm, Stonington Global LLC. The founders, Joey Allaham and Nick Muzin, responded to Flynn’s lawyers on Tuesday evening by saying they wouldn’t comment on "Flynn’s considerations about the timing of the announcement" but looked "forward to working together."
The disputed announcement, in which Muzin said he was “proud to welcome” Flynn to the firm, came as President Donald Trump’s former aide appeared in a federal court in Washington for the first time since his guilty plea in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation into potential links between Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the election.
He was forced to resign less than a month into Trump’s term, after the White House was warned he could be subjected to blackmail because his dealings with Russia hadn’t been fully disclosed. The White House said Flynn gave Vice President Mike Pence an inaccurate account of his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Stonington Global will help clients work with foreign governments and engage in defense procurement, public affairs and advice to sovereign wealth funds about strategy, according to the company’s announcement. The earlier statement quoted Flynn saying he would put his experience “to good use in helping companies and governments enhance the goals of freedom and liberty.”
Allaham and Muzin, who previously lobbied on behalf of Qatar, didn’t name any clients for their new venture. Qatar paid Muzin’s separate firm, Stonington Strategies LLC, $1.3 million from August through February to lobby the U.S. government, according to the firm’s most recent disclosure filed with the Justice Department.
Separately, Qatar also paid Allaham $1.45 million in October 2017 to provide his advice on its dispute with other Gulf countries, encourage dialog with Jewish communities in the U.S. and abroad, and promote the 2022 World Cup in Doha, a disclosure filed by another of his firms, Lexington Strategies LLC shows. Qatar has been isolated from many of its neighbors since June 2017, when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced they were severing ties with the country.
At one point, Flynn retroactively registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. That was for work that his firm, Flynn Intel Group, did for a Dutch consulting company, Inovo BV, that was for the benefit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
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