Former national security adviser Michael Flynn probably broke the law by failing to disclose foreign income he earned from Russia and Turkey, the heads of the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday.
Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), said they believe Flynn neither received permission nor fully disclosed income he earned for a speaking engagement in Russia and lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey when he applied to reinstate his security clearance. They reached this conclusion after viewing two classified memos and a disclosure form in a private briefing Tuesday morning.
“Personally I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz told reporters after the briefing.
Said Cummings: “He was supposed to get permission, he was supposed to report it, and he didn’t. This is a major problem.”
Chaffetz and Cummings stressed that as a former military officer, Flynn would have needed special permission for his appearance at a gala sponsored by RT, the Russian-government-funded television station, for which he was paid $45,000. For his work lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government, he was paid more than $500,000.
“It does not appear that was ever sought, nor did he get that permission,” Chaffetz said.
The Republican later added that while Flynn was clearly not in compliance with the law, “it would be a little strong to say that he flat-out lied.”