A new letter from the leading Democrat on the House oversight committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, reveals new information about former national security adviser Michael Flynn and what he told investigators about his ties to foreign governments when he was interviewed about his security clearance.
According to the Report of Investigation, which Cummings refers to in his letter to committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, Flynn made false statements to investigators about who funded his foreign trips, including a 2015 trip to Russia where Flynn was paid roughly $45,000 to speak at an event in Moscow. According to the letter released Monday by Democrats on the committee, Flynn claimed they his trips were funded by “US companies.”
The report stated that Flynn said he “had not received any benefit from a foreign country.”
Flynn also claimed to investigators he had no substantial contacts with foreign government officials, saying he only had “insubstantial contact.” Flynn was shown sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2015 dinner.
The committee Democrats say Chaffetz must subpoena documents from the White House to determine what the White House was told about these foreign contacts and trips.
“We need to know what the President, Vice President, White House Counsel, and other top officials knew about General Flynn —- and when they knew it,” Cummings writes in the letter.
The request comes after a blockbuster New York Times report that Flynn’s lawyer had informed the Trump transition team weeks ahead of the inauguration that Flynn was under investigation for allegedly working for the Turkish government during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The letter also comes the same day that Flynn said he would not comply with a Senate intelligence committee subpoena for information and will invoke the Fifth Amendment.
In the letter, Cummings accuses Chaffetz of defying the interests of the investigation by not subpoenaing the records. Time is ticking as Chaffetz is expected to step down as a member of Congress on June 30.
“In refusing our requests for a subpoena, you have made the same argument as President Trump — that you believe the White House bears no responsibility for vetting General Flynn for the position of National Security Advisor because he received his latest security clearance renewal under the Obama Administration in early 2016,” the letter goes on.
The oversight committee had previously sent a bipartisan request to the White House that it wanted any information into how the Trump transition team vetted Flynn as well as any communication White House officials may have had about Flynn’s alleged connects to foreign nationals.