Flynn was warned not to accept foreign payments in 2014

Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sits in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 10. Documents released by lawmakers show Flynn now former national security adviser was warned when he retired from the military in 2014 not to

On April 11, acting DODIG Glenn Fine notified the House committee's chairman, Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, in writing that the Pentagon had initiated an investigation to determine "whether [Flynn] failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving any emolument from a foreign government".

Documents released by lawmakers on Thursday show Mr Flynn was warned when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign money without "advance approval" by Pentagon authorities.

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

"DIA did not locate any records referring or relating to LTG (Lieutenant General) Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source.DIA did not locate any records of LTG Flynn seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source", the redacted letter said.

The Democrat also pushed the White House to release documents it has that could aide in the Oversight Committee's investigation.

Flynn's lawyer, Robert K. Kelner, has argued that the retired general briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, from which he retired in 2014, before and after his 2015 Russian Federation trip.

On Tuesday, however, Cummings and Chaffetz held a joint news conference in which they said Flynn might have broken the law by not disclosing the payments when he filed paperwork previous year to renew his security clearance.

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 United States says is an arm of the Russian government.

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Flynn subsequently accepted more than $500,000 from a Russian government-owned broadcasting company and from a lobbying company representing Turkey, according to the committee. "He was supposed to seek permission and receive permission from both the secretary of state and the secretary of the Army prior to traveling to Russian Federation to not only accept that payment, but to engage in that activity".

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). In 2015, Flynn received at least $33,750 (31,035 euros) to appear at a gala dinner for the Kremlin-controlled Russian media outlet RT.

The company paid Flynn's now-defunct firm, Flynn Intel Group, a total of $530,000 beginning in August, when he was the Trump campaign's top foreign policy advisor. "There is obviously a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow". The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution "prohibits receipt of consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary by all retired military personnel ... from a foreign government" without prior approval, a DIA official wrote to Flynn in October 2014.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer rebuffed criticism from Cummings that the White House was covering up.

Flynn was sacked as national security adviser in February after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

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.

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor, Jill Colvin and Jeff Horwitz contributed to this report.

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