Democrats To Committee Chair: We Need Answers About Michael Flynn
- Author: Joanne Flowers May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 13:54
On Monday, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House oversight committee, cited inconsistencies in Mr. Flynn's disclosures to US investigators during his security clearance review in early 2016.
Specifically, Flynn allegedly told the Pentagon that he had been paid by "U.S. companies" for a December 2015 trip to Moscow, when in fact he received $45,000 from the Russian state-owned media company RT.
The Senate Intelligence Committee had requested Mr Flynn provide a list of all meetings and communications he had with Russian officials from January 16, 2015 through to January 20, 2017.
"In these circumstances, (Flynn) is entitled to, and does, invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against production of documents", Flynn's lawyer wrote in a letter to the Senate intelligence committee, verified by CNN. Warner said he and Senate intelligence Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina hoped to meet with Robert Mueller, the Justice Department's special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation, to talk about what Comey can and cannot say in his testimony.
"General Michael Flynn may have lied to security clearance investigators conducting Flynn's background check in early 2016".
Elijah Cummings, who sits on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, said Mr Flynn did not fully disclose a payment he received from a Kremlin-friendly broadcaster.
It is up to lawmakers to decide whether to find Flynn in contempt of Congress.
Gen Flynn, a retired US Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was a top adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Flynn was sacked in February for statements he made to Russian diplomats prior to Trump taking office.
Flynn is a former national security adviser to President Donald Trump who resigned just weeks into the administration's term.
"The Fifth Amendment provides you an absolute right against self-incrimination".
The committee said it would continue to try to obtain the documents. Flynn agreed to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees in late March in exchange for immunity from prosecution, but neither committee has agreed to that so far.
Mr. Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment on the new assertions by Cummings.
Reuters reported last Thursday that Mr Flynn and other advisers to Mr Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and e-mails during the last seven months of the U.S. presidential race.