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Oversight: 'No evidence' Flynn complied with law over Russian Federation payments

09 May 2017

Cummings also released an April 19 letter from the White House, saying the administration was refusing to fulfil a bipartisan request to provide documents on Flynn's payments and security clearances.

Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn probably broke the law by failing to get permission to be paid for a trip to Russian Federation in 2015, the leaders of a U.S. House of Representatives committee have said.

Defence Department regulations ban retired military officers from receiving certain foreign payments without permission. "The response we're getting [from those agencies] is there is no information, and that, we believe, is the potential violation".

After reviewing documents from the Pentagon, the committee's chairman and ranking member suggested Flynn might have broken the law by not disclosing payments from Russian Federation and Turkey. 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.

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"I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law", Chaffetz told reporters, according to a transcript from CNN. Spicer said, "That would be a question for him and a law enforcement agency, whether or not, I don't know what he filled out or what he did or did not do".

Trump has said he fired Flynn because of misleading comments he made to the vice president about his discussions with the Russian ambassador during the transition. United States media has reported Flynn spoke at a 2015 conference in Russian Federation for the RT news outlet and received a payment of $45,000.

"The situation is unprecedented", Smith said, speaking with White House correspondent John Roberts. He reportedly gave a paid speech to RT-TV in Russian Federation without asking the Pentagon's permission or flagging the State Department.

Chaffetz also said Flynn, a former military officer who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, did not appear to have obtained permission from his superiors before traveling to Moscow. However, neither Cummings nor Chaffetz said they felt the White House was obstructing their investigation. Flynn received $45,000 for that appearance and more than $500,000 for lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. Before he stepped aside, Democrats had questioned whether the committee could conduct a credible investigation after Nunes received information at the White House about surveillance and discussed it with Trump before briefing Democrats on the committee. It's also important to note that this isn't evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion, though it's certainly evidence of Flynn's poor ethics or incompetence.

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At the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the committee's request for Flynn's security clearance information was referred to the Defense Department, which turned over documents.

Nothing is wrong with it, as long as the "gain" or payment does not come from unauthorized work for a foreign government.

Earlier Tuesday, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee announced a public panel May 8 to hear testimony for the first time from the former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who played a role in Flynn's firing.

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Oversight: 'No evidence' Flynn complied with law over Russian Federation payments