Flynn Warned About Accepting Foreign Government Payments in 2014: Documents

Documents released by lawmakers show Flynn, now former national security adviser, was warned when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign money without "advance approval" by Pentagon authorities.

Further, Cummings said there is no evidence Flynn did seek permission to receive payment from a foreign government, which contradicts what Flynn's lawyer has said.

"They were vetting him for the national security advisor position, so the blame is clearly on the administration that was trying to put him in that position", Lynch said. 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.

One episode in question involves a trip he took to Moscow in 2015 for RT's anniversary celebration.

He has claimed previously that his client informed officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency, which the retired lieutenant general helmed until his firing in 2014, about the trip to Russian Federation.

Cummings also criticized the White House for not releasing documents from the transition period, during which Flynn inappropriately discussed sanctions with Russian Federation (and later misled White House and intelligence officials about the conversation).

On Tuesday, Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz said it appeared Flynn - who stood down as a top aide to Trump amid the controversy over his ties to Russian Federation - broke the law by failing to disclose the payments from RT.

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Asked about the speech in August 2016, Flynn acknowledged it was " paid " but declined to specify the amount. He could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. Chaffetz spokeswoman MJ Henshaw said Thursday that the release of the Flynn documents constituted a violation of trust by Cummings because he never consulted with Chaffetz before releasing them.

The company paid Flynn's now-defunct firm, the Flynn Intel Group, a total of $530,000 beginning in August, when he was the Trump campaign's top foreign policy adviser. Of course! Meanwhile, enough of a stink was made over Flynn on Capitol Hill that the Pentagon finally peered into a few E-Ring closets, and they found an inspector general investigation of Flynn hiding in one of them!

The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, article I, section 9, clause 8, as interpreted in Comptroller General opinions and by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, prohibits receipt of consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary by all retired military personnel, officer and enlisted, regular and reserve, from a foreign government unless congressional consent is first obtained. "We found no evidence that he did that".

He also released a redacted letter from the DIA saying they could not "locate any records of LTG Flynn seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source". (His request was denied.) "He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated". Flynn allegedly did so without receiving permission from the Pentagon or U.S. State Department.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, said earlier this week that while Flynn's negligence on his security clearance forms could be punished by up to five years in prison, that decision was not up to the committee. "The White House has refused to offer a single piece of paper in response to this committee's bipartisan request. And we need to find out who those people are in the White House".

The White House press secretary Sean Spicer sought to deflect criticism. Mr Flynn ended a 33-year army career as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during 2012-2014. On Thursday, Kelner said he disagreed with Cummings' characterization of the letter, and called on the DIA "to release the full, unredacted letter", which he said would confirm that Flynn provided the necessary information.

Information for this article was contributed by Chad Day, Stephen Braun, Lolita C. Baldor, Jill Colvin and Jeff Horwitz of The Associated Press and by Dan Lamothe and Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post.

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