Michael Flynn didn’t list any interactions with foreign government officials on his application last year to renew his security clearance, despite indicating in a speech days after submitting the application that he had had extensive contacts in Saudi Arabia and other countries, according to a letter Monday from two senior House Democrats.
The letter, obtained by POLITICO, may add to the mounting legal troubles for Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser who was fired after just 24 days once it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador.
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Flynn is a target of investigations in the House and Senate into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election — and has begun turning over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which issued multiple subpoenas after Flynn initially declined to comply with the panel’s requests.
Monday’s letter is from Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively.
It requests documents from Flynn’s consulting firm and from two businesses that Flynn worked with to promote a U.S.-Russia joint effort, financed by Saudi Arabia, to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East. The effort was chronicled earlier this month in an investigative story in Newsweek.
“We have no record of General Flynn identifying on his security clearance renewal application — or during his interview with security clearance investigators — even a single foreign government official he had contact with in the seven years prior to submitting his security clearance application,” says the letter from Cummings and Engel. Cummings has previously received information on Flynn’s security clearance renewal process from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Falsifying or concealing information on a security clearance application, the letter notes, is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner did not respond to a request for comment.
The letter by Cummings and Engel also says it appears Flynn failed to disclose on his security clearance application a trip he took to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 to promote the U.S-Russia nuclear power deal. And it says he provided incomplete information about a trip to Saudi Arabia in October 2015.
It notes that Flynn testified in June 2015 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he was traveling extensively to the Middle East.
“General Flynn’s failure to report this trip and any contacts with foreign government officials about this Saudi-Russian nuclear proposal appears to be a potential violation” of law, the letter explains.
Cummings has been investigating Flynn for several months for omitting information on his security clearance application. Last month, the congressman said Flynn appears to have “lied to the investigators who interviewed him in 2016 as part of his security clearance renewal” when he said a 2015 trip to Russia was paid for by “U.S. companies” rather than the Russian propaganda outlet RT.
Flynn is also being investigated by the Pentagon’s inspector general over payments he received from foreign governments after retiring from the Army — a possible violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.