Former Trump adviser Flynn likely broke law with Russia trip: lawmakers

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have broken the law by taking money from Russian Federation and Turkey without permission, the top lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday.

The committee has sought more information, including documents related to the Trump administration's vetting of Flynn for the national security adviser position and his subsequent firing.

The leaders of the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday said the former national security adviser might have broken the law by accepting payments from Russian Federation and Turkey, and later by misleading the government about them.

The lead Democrat and Republican on the Committee displayed a rare show of unity in jointly rebuking Mr Flynn after seeing information that confirmed the former Trump administration official had failed to disclose foreign income received from Russian Federation and Turkey.

President Donald Trump rejected a request from the House Oversight Committee for more information on payments from foreign governments to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the White House's denial of the request. Flynn's contact with Kislyak and other foreign nationals is being investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, which Chaffetz said would take the lead on examining whether those contacts themselves were inappropriate.

Cummings said on Tuesday that Flynn should appear before the committee because he had "concealed" his foreign payments. This is about Flynn, a 33-year veteran of the armed services, falsifying his SF-86 application for a White House security clearance in January to hide big sums of money he received lobbying for Russian and Turkish government interests - much of it earned while he was working on Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

"The statute's real clear". "It does not appear to us that [permission] was ever sought". "It's a pretty high bar".

Cummings told reporters, "I do believe we are in a struggle for the soul of our democracy, and that concerns me".

As a retired military officer, Flynn is prohibited under the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution from accepting payment from a foreign government without advance permission from both the secretary of State and the secretary of the Army.

"Personally, I see no information or no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law", Chaffetz said at Tuesday's press conference. That request was denied on April 19, with a decision that said the forms "predate Lt. Gen. Flynn's service at the White House".

The White House has informed a United States congressional committee that it will not comply with a request to release documents related to a former aide.

"That would be a question for him and a law enforcement agency", Spicer said. But lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee rejected the appeal, calling it extremely premature.

The House and Senate intelligence committees have been leading the primary investigations into Russia's interference in the U.S. elections and possible coordination with top aides to the Trump campaign.

Yates is to appear May 8 along with James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, at an open hearing of the crime and terrorism subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr Flynn wants immunity to testify before Congress on alleged Russian election meddling, his lawyer has said. They are also exploring possible links between Trump aides and Russian officials. Flynn, who headed the military's top intelligence agency, is a retired lieutenant general and was Trump's national security adviser until he was sacked.

The Weekly Standard reported that ranking Democrat on the House Oversight committee, Elijah Cummings, is also upset by the revelation.

  • Leroy Wright