According to the bipartisan leaders of the House Oversight Committee this Tuesday, ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn likely broke the law when he received payments from foreign governments and failed to disclose them.
Since Flynn was forced to resign his position in the White House for allegedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it has been revealed that he accepted payments from foreign governments, including from the Kremlin-funded media outlet Russia Today. Flynn was also registered as a foreign agent when his firm lobbied on behalf of Turkey’s government.
The law requires anyone who seeks payments from foreign governments to get approval from Congress.
“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey, or anybody else, and it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law,”the committee’s GOP chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz said, according to the Daily Beast, adding that the committee has “no information or no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law.”
Flynn responded to the latest revelations with a statement through his lawyer:
“As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of [the Department of Defense], extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posted by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings,” Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner said.
Additionally, the White House has denied the House committee’s request for documents related to Flynn when he was National Security Adviser.
“Chaffetz and Cummings requested that each agency produce documents relating to Flynn’s foreign contacts and payments, security clearance applications, and other related documents between the time of his retirement in 2014 to present day,” a committee press release stated according to the Beast.
In late March, Flynn reportedly offered to testify in exchange for immunity.
The committee’s top Democrat Elijah Cummings expressed frustration at the White House’s refusal to cooperate.
“So, we have received no internal documents relating to what General Flynn reported to the White House when they vetted him to become National Security Advisor,” Cummings said. “And we have received no documents relating to his termination as National Security Advisor for concealing his discussions with the Russian Ambassador.”