Michael Flynn Is Under Investigation Over Foreign Payment Accusations
04:58, Apr 28, 2017
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The inspector general of the Department of Defense has opened an investigation into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn reported money he received for a speaking appearance in Russian Federation.
The Pentagon office will try to determine whether Mr Flynn "failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving" the payments, according to an April 11 letter from Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine to Representative Jason Chaffetz, the committee chairman.
"These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon", said Cummings.
Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, criticized the White House for refusing to fulfill a bipartisan request to release documents pertaining to Flynn's hiring and firing.
Such payments possibly violate Defense Department and U.S. constitutional prohibitions on retired military personnel conducting activities involving foreign governments without advance clearance.
One of the letters Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, released was a letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency stating that they found no record that Flynn had sought permission to speak in Russian Federation, nor had he reported income from that speech. Chaffetz also sent a letter Thursday to the acting secretary of the Army asking for a final determination as to whether Flynn violated the law. It's from the Defense Intelligence Agency, which Flynn headed until 2014.
"What I recall most vividly from [my] briefings is the admonition that, for high-level officials - particularly political appointees - even the possible perception of impropriety is to be avoided", said Wilkerson, who is now an adjunct professor of government and public policy at William and Mary.
Democrats, including a Cummings spokeswoman, pushed back on the idea they hadn't worked with Republicans on the committee.
Spicer says the administration welcomes the inquiry announced Thursday by Maryland Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings. Those include payments related to his appearance at a dinner thrown by the Kremlin-controlled news organization RT and his work as a foreign agent for Turkish interests. "Our internal committee protocols call for consultation, not consent".
"I honestly don't understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn".
"[The White House] should be bending over backwards to help us".
The White House insisted late Tuesday that they are withholding no documents.
"There's obviously a paper trail", he said. Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said then that the Defense Department was reviewing the issue.
The developments come one day after Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Cummings, D-Md., said at a joint news conference that from the evidence they've seen, "Flynn neither asked permission nor reported the funds" he was paid by foreign entities, as the Two-Way reported.
"To your credit, you have sought and obtained some documents relevant to this investigation".
Mr Flynn's lawyer said the former lieutenant general reported his plans to visit Russian Federation to the DIA, but would not say whether he had properly disclosed the payments. It was later revealed that Flynn had accepted money for a speaking engagement in Russian Federation on behalf of the Kremlin-back RT network.
The high-ranking official was forced to resign in February from his position as Trump's first national security adviser after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the USA in late December.
Former National Security Council Senior Director Ned Price asserted on Thursday that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could now be facing a five year prison sentence after it was revealed that he was told that taking payments from foreign governments was illegal but did it anyway.
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