The former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have just found himself a defendant in a criminal case. During a press conference today House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings said Michael Flynn did not properly fill out information for security clearance. CNN reports:
“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law,” Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz and Cummings announced their findings to reporters on the Hill following a classified gathering of the committee in which they reviewed documents that Cummings described as “extremely troubling.I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said, referring to whether Flynn received permission from the Pentagon or the State Department or that he disclosed the more than $45,000 he was paid for a speech he gave to RT-TV in Russia.
Chaffetz said that the committee will send a letter now requesting information from the inspector general at the Department of Defense and the comptroller of the US Army to determine how they will handle news of Flynn’s security clearance. One action, he said, may be seeking repayment of money from Flynn — possibly in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Cummings noted that the security clearance states that knowingly leaving off payments from foreign governments is a felony punishable with up to five years in prison. But he and Chaffetz both said that it was not for them to decide whether Flynn committed a crime.
“We’re not here to make the final determination,” Chaffetz said Tuesday.
No officials have accused Flynn of committing any crimes.
Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said Tuesday that Flynn was not hiding anything, noting that he briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency on his trip to Russia.
“As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings,” Kelner said in a statement to CNN Tuesday.
The news comes after the White House declined to provide documents related to Flynn that the panel investigating him had requested, according to a letter obtained by CNN.
White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short outlined in a letter to the House oversight committee how it would not complete the request from the panel, referring some requests to the Department of Defense, saying the office doesn’t have custody of some of the other documents or simply stating “we are unable to accommodate” others.
A White House aide disputed that the White House was withholding anything from the committee, saying they could not provide documents they do not have access to. The aide said that they directed oversight investigators to the appropriate agencies.
The announcement about Flynn comes a week after CNN reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser to the President, has yet to detail to the federal government all of his foreign contacts, a condition of receiving his top secret security clearance.
I would put money that Session’s is not going to prosecute.