Michael Flynn Didn't Disclose Russia Payments In Security Clearance Application, Lawmakers Say

"This is a major problem," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
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President Donald Trump鈥檚 former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, failed to disclose payments from Russia when applying for security clearance in 2016, lawmakers told reporters Tuesday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said that documents provided to him and committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) by the Defense Intelligence Agency were 鈥渆xtremely troubling.鈥 According to Cummings, the documents showed Flynn did not report that he was paid for a trip to Russia in 2015, when he dined with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

鈥淭his is a major problem,鈥 Cummings said, noting that he and Chaffetz have 鈥済rave concerns.鈥

鈥淚 see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,鈥 Chaffetz said.

When Flynn reapplied for his security clearance in January 2016, he apparently did not report the funds he received for his trip to Moscow.

鈥淭here is also no evidence that he sought permission to obtain these funds from a foreign source鈥 as required by law, Cummings said.

Flynn鈥檚 failure to disclose the money he received for the trip on his clearance documents is potentially a criminal offense, Cummings said. The law states that 鈥渒nowingly falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony which may result in fines and/or up to five years imprisonment.鈥

Cummings recommended that the House Oversight Committee hold a hearing with Flynn.

鈥淲e need to have the opportunity to ask him directly why he concealed these foreign payments from the Defense Department,鈥 he said, after members of the Oversight Committee reviewed the documents Tuesday morning in a secure location in the Capitol alongside DIA staff.

Cummings added that the White House did not hand over any documents related to what Flynn told the administration when he was vetted to be Trump鈥檚 national security adviser. The administration also declined to send over documents related to Flynn鈥檚 firing, despite requests from both Cummings and Chaffetz.

鈥淭he White House has refused to provide this committee with a single piece of paper in response to our bipartisan request, and that is unacceptable,鈥 Cummings said. 鈥淚 hope our committee will impress on them the need for them to provide the documents we are seeking.鈥

Trump named Flynn to be a national security adviser on Nov. 17. Flynn resigned from the position on Feb. 13.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chair of the Armed Services Committee, wouldn鈥檛 say if he thought what Flynn did was criminal.

鈥淚 don鈥檛 know, I鈥檓 not a lawyer,鈥 he told reporters Tuesday. 鈥淏ut it certainly is interesting.鈥

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was more emphatic, calling the revelations a 鈥渉uge problem鈥 and adding, 鈥淚t鈥檚 hard for me to believe that鈥檚 [an] oversight.鈥

NBC鈥檚 Bradd Jaffy tweeted a statement from Robert Kelner, Flynn鈥檚 lawyer, Tuesday afternoon.

This story has been updated to include Jaffy鈥檚 tweet, as well as comments from Feinstein and McCain.

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