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Daily Trends Now

Pentagon probes Trump's former national security advisor Flynn

They say they as well as the Department of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation received a form letter from the Oversight Committee asking for documents related to his security clearance.

Flynn, the former defense intelligence chief, was sacked by the White House after 24 days as Trump's top national security aide over his communications with Russia's U.S. ambassador, amid intense concern that Moscow had directed a concerted effort to interfere in last year's presidential election.

Just months after Flynn's 2014 firing from DIA, the intelligence agency's lawyers informed the retired general of ethics guidelines for his post-government career.

Retired army lieutenant general Mike Flynn, a former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief, has attracted the official scrutiny for potentially failing "to obtain required approval" for a Moscow speech to RT, a state-controlled news channel that USA intelligence considers an arm of Kremlin propaganda.

"We have no evidence, zilch", that Flynn sought any approval to accept foreign payments, Cummings said.

Flynn was forced to step down in February over phone conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the Pentagon investigation, launched in early April, appears focused on the more than $33,000 dollars Flynn earned to attend an RT television gala in December 2015, where he sat at a table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In failing to disclose the payment, Flynn may have violated the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, which prohibits retired military personnel from receiving payments from foreign sources without advance permission.

He also received more than $500,000 from Turkey for lobbying he undertook on their behalf in Washington after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2014, and before joining the Trump administration.

A Defense Department spokesman confirmed the Flynn probe opened April 4. He also worked as a foreign agent representing Turkish interests for a Netherlands-based company, Inovo BV, which paid his company, Flynn Intel Group, $US530,000 in autumn.

Army spokeswoman Cynthia O Smith said "we have found no records of LTG (R) Flynn requesting permission from the Army for foreign employment".

Meanwhile, a third letter released by Cummings reveals that Flynn was indeed informed in detail about his legal obligation not to accept funds from a foreign government following his departure from the Army. "I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents".

The latest release of documents comes amid congressional investigations of possible ties between US President Donald Trump's election campaign and Russian Federation.

"These documents raise grave questions about why Gen. Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon", Cummings said in a statement.

Both Cummings and Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have previously said they planned to ask the Army to rule on whether Flynn properly informed and asked permission for the payments from Russian and Turkish entities.

"These guys are playing games, and when you see Mr. Spicer you can tell him I said that today", Cummings said, referring to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.


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