Pentagon probe of Flynn ‘appropriate’: WH
A White House spokesman says it’s “appropriate” for a Pentagon agency to investigate former national security adviser Michael Flynn for possible wrongdoing in connection with a trip he took to Russia in 2016.
Spokesman Sean Spicer, asked on Thursday what he thought of the news that the Defense Department’s Inspector General was conducting an investigation into the actions of Flynn, a retired Lieutenant General, said: “That’s appropriate. If they think that there’s wrongdoing, the department’s inspector general should look into it. We welcome that.”
The inspector general is probing whether Flynn had “failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving any emolument from a foreign government,” according to the April 11 letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Flynn is under scrutiny over his contacts with Russian officials, and lawmakers have claim he broke the law by failing to request and receive permission to accept payments for a 2015 trip to Russia.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, also released documents from the Pentagon that showed it had found no evidence that Flynn sought permission to receive foreign funds despite being warned in 2014 against taking such payments.
An lawyer for Flynn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a redacted version of a letter sent to the committee this week, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) told lawmakers it had found no evidence that Flynn sought approval of or reported any foreign payments.
“DIA did not locate any records referring or relating to LTG (Lieutenant General) Flynn’s receipt of money from a foreign source … DIA did not locate any records of LTG Flynn seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source,” the agency wrote April 7.
Cummings also released an October 2014 letter from DIA to Flynn outlining ethics restrictions that applied to him on retirement from the US Army, including a prohibition on accepting payments from foreign sources without permission.
The latest release of documents comes amid congressional investigations of possible ties between US President Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia.
Flynn resigned on February 13 after failing to disclose his talks with Sergei Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States, before Trump took office.