Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pentagon joins probe of Flynn

At the same time, documents released by the top Democrat on a House oversight committee showed Flynn was warned by authorities after he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign government-sourced money without "advance approval" from the Pentagon.

After Flynn retired from the military in 2014, he was warned by the Pentagon not to accept cash from foreign governments which didn't stop him from working for Turkey and making paid speeches for Russia's state news service.

The inspector general of the Department of Defense is probing whether Nr Flynn had "failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving any emolument from a foreign government", according to the letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Cummings also released a 2014 letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency to Flynn. In 2015, Flynn received at least $33,750 (31,035 euros) to appear at a gala dinner for the Kremlin-controlled Russian media outlet RT.

Detailing the money Flynn was paid, Chaffetz cited $35,000 from the Russian news agency RT and $530,000 from a Dutch company Chaffetz said is owned by "a Turkish businessman with links to the Turkish government".

Cummings also revealed today that the Defense Department's inspector general has opened an investigation into whether Flynn sought permission to receive foreign payments, including payments in exchange for an appearance in Russian Federation.

However, a former senior White House official familiar with ethics and security clearance issues said that during the administration of former President Barack Obama, the White House Counsel's office always conducted its own background investigations of candidates for senior White House jobs, even if they already held security clearances.

"General Flynn is a military officer who maintained high-security clearance throughout his career.all of that clearance was made during the Obama administration", Spicer said.

The letter says one reason is that "many, if not all, documents relating to" Flynn's contacts with foreign nationals after January 20, 2017 "are likely to contain classified and/or confidential information". Cummings said that contradicts remarks by Flynn's attorney earlier this week.

Flynn was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama but was forced out because of his chaotic management style.

Shortly after his firing, Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice.

Mr Flynn's lawyer said he'd briefed the DIA before and after his Russian Federation trip.

He was sacked from his position as national security advisor after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of conversations he shared with the Russian Federation ambassador to the US during the Presidential campaign.

US President Donald Trump's administration accepted Flynn's security clearance issued by his predecessor, Spicer said in a press briefing. "I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents".

Through his lawyer, Flynn has offered to testify to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committee investigations, but only after obtaining a grant of immunity against subsequent prosecution.

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