Tuesday 22/08/2017 - 10:28 am


Chaffetz, Cummings say no evidence Flynn "complied with the law"


2017.04.26 07:14

Payments for a trip to Russia that included dining with President Vladimir Putin were not fully disclosed when Michael Flynn applied for a security clearance earlier this year, the heads of a bipartisan congressional investigation said Tuesday after reviewing classified documents related to the Trump administration’s former national security adviser.

In February, Mr. Flynn resigned as Mr. Trump’s top security aide following reports he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his dealings with Russia during the transition from the Obama to Trump administrations.

Last month, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee formally requested the White House, FBI, Defense Department and Director of National Intelligence surrender all documents related to Mr. Flynn’s foreign contacts and payments.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday after a closed committee gathering to review a batch of classified documents, including a financial disclosure form, Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings said they have “grave concerns” and called their findings “extremely troubling.”

Earlier this year, committee investigators revealed that in 2015, Mr. Flynn was paid over $65,000 by companies linked to Russian in addition to $530,000 for work his lobbying firm completed, which presumably benefited Turkey.

“Personally I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Mr. Chaffetz said.

“The American people should be able to see these documents for themselves,” Mr. Cummings added. “He was supposed to get permission, he was supposed to report it, and he didn’t.”

The Maryland Democrat also discussed correspondence the committee sent to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus requesting a wide range of documents related to Mr. Flynn. Mr. Cummings said he feels frustrated with the White House’s lack of cooperation after their request for documents relating to Mr. Flynn was denied.

“The White House has refused to provide the committee with a single piece of paper,” Mr. Cummings said.

Both Mr. Cummings and Mr. Chaffetz didn’t go so far as to accuse the White House of obstruction, but said they’d like access to as much information as possible.

The White House said they don’t have documents on Mr. Flynn’s activities prior to Mr. Trump’s inauguration and those they do have from his time in the administration involve sensitive information

While the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting the lead investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has a concurrent probe into Mr. Flynn. After resigning, Mr. Flynn offered to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

On Tuesday, Mr. Cummings, said he feels Mr. Flynn must be questioned directly regarding his payments.

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