Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Unified Oversight Leaders Say 'No Evidence' Flynn Followed Law on Foreign Payments

Its chairman, Senator Richard Burr, was re-elected in November in the Republican sweep that carried Trump into office and preserved Republican control of Congress.

White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) arrives prior to a joint news conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017. Now, he is the subject of multiple investigations.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later demurred when asked if Mr Flynn had lied on security forms when applying for clearance, saying that that "would be a question for him and a law enforcement agency..."

"Personally, I see no information or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law", Chaffetz said after a briefing on the issue by officials of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which Flynn headed from 2012 to 2014. Chaffetz told reporters that Flynn, as a former military officer, was required to seek permission before accepting payments from foreign powers, the Weekly Standard said.

The House Oversight Committee had requested Flynn's security clearance paperwork, references to foreign contacts, receipts for payments from overseas and requests for permission to receive foreign payments. He didn't. And he should have reported those payments when applying for security clearance.

The House and Senate intelligence committees are the main congressional bodies investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible ties with the Trump campaign.

Congressional investigators had previously exposed that Flynn was paid $45,000 to speak at an event hosted by RT, during which he was seated with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Mr Cummings also criticised the White House for refusing to turn over documents the committee requested about Mr Flynn's foreign contacts during his three-week stint as national security adviser.

But the White House referred the request to the defence department. It would be up to the committee and other authorities to look at that.

The announcement followed the Oversight Committee's Tuesday morning review of Flynn-related documents including the retired lieutenant general's January 2016 application for an updated security clearance. He added that the matter would now most likely fall under the purview of the House Intelligence Committee.

Elijah Cummings, the Democratic vice chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said the reporting violations may constitute felony crimes that could bring up to five years imprisonment.

"That is simply unacceptable", Cummings said. Before he stepped aside, Democrats had questioned whether the committee could conduct a credible investigation after Nunes received information at the White House about surveillance and discussed it with Trump before briefing Democrats on the committee. To do its job effectively, the White House needs to comply with appropriate requests for information about potential wrongdoing.

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