Lunes, 10 Diciembre, 2018

DOD launches investigation into payments Flynn received from Russian Federation

Michael Flynn seen here arriving for a news conference in the East Room of the White House in February is being investigated by the inspector general of the Department of Defense Rep. Elijah Cummings said Thursday DOD launches investigation into payments Flynn received from Russian Federation
Eleena Tovar | 04 May, 2017, 16:37

Cummings slammed White House officials for declining to release to the committee internal documents related to Flynn after requests from both Republicans and Democrats.

He was paid between $33,750 and $45,000 to attend the gala at which he was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an interview airing Friday evening on Fox News Channel's "The First 100 Days", Trump tried to deflect recent criticism of his decision to appoint Flynn as national security adviser despite Flynn's past lobbying on behalf of Turkish government interests and his acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars from a Russian state-sponsored television network.

One document, a redacted version of a letter the DIA sent to the committee on April 7, said the agency had not found "any records referring or relating to LTG (Lieutenant General) Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source".

"These documents raise grave questions about why Gen. Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon", Cummings said.

Chaffetz sent a letter Thursday to the Acting Secretary of the Army asking for a final determination on whether Flynn violated the law in accepting foreign payments.

In a statement on Tuesday, Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, said Flynn briefed DIA "extensively" before and after his RT appearance.

Among those payments was more than $33,000 from the RT television network, which USA intelligence officials have branded as propaganda front for Russia's government. But on Thursday Elijah Cummings, the committee's vice chair, said the DIA informed the committee that there is no evidence that Flynn requested approval to take the money from RT, which the USA says is an arm of the Russian government.

The White House recently told the committee that documents the lawmakers sought would not be turned over because they contained classified information or were not relevant to the committee's investigation. Spicer discussed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump's tax overhaul plan and other topics.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon's inspector general confirmed it is probing whether the payments were from foreign governments and whether Flynn properly notified military authorities about them.

Acting Pentagon inspector general Glenn Fine disclosed the inquiry in an April 11 letter to the House oversight committee, which is also investigating Flynn. They did not possess that information due to the fact that Flynn's clearance ran through DOD and had been approved in 2016. Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign lobbyist with the Department of Justice in March.

Spicer said any improper actions by Flynn also flew under the radar of the Obama administration: The Defense Department issued Flynn a new security clearance in 2016, and Flynn took his trip to Russian Federation in 2015.

Yesterday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer suggested that the Obama administration is to blame for how Flynn was vetted.

"His clearance was last re-issued by the Obama Administration in 2016, with full knowledge of his activities in 2015, as you point out".

Shortly after the briefing, President Donald Trump himself was asked by a reporter during a memorandum signing if he had any regrets about Michael Flynn.

The Flynn probe adds to a number of investigations in Congress and the Department of Justice relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election, which USA intelligence says was created to boost Mr Trump's prospects to win the presidency.