Top Dems Call on Pentagon to Investigate Flynn’s Payment for Dining with Putin in Moscow

Top Dems Call on Pentagon to Investigate Flynn’s Payment for Dining with Putin in Moscow

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George Frey/Getty Images
George Frey/Getty Images

Letter states National Security Advisor May Have Violated Constitution

Wednesday, Reps. Adam Smith, Elijah E. Cummings, John Conyers, Jr., Bennie G. Thompson, Adam Schiff, and Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Members of the Committees on Armed Services, Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs, sent a letter requesting that the Department of Defense review a potentially serious violation of the Emoluments Clause by retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, who now serves as President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor.

“It is extremely concerning that General Flynn chose to accept payment for appearing at a gala hosted by the propaganda arm of the Russian government, which attacked the United States in an effort to undermine our election,” the Ranking Members wrote. “Even more concerning is that General Flynn, who President Trump has now chosen to be his National Security Advisor, may have violated the Constitution in the process.”

The Department of Defense warns its retired officers against accepting any direct or indirect payments from foreign governments because retired officers continue to hold offices of trust under the Constitution.

Since his retirement in 2014, Flynn has made regular appearances on RT, which U.S. intelligence officials concluded is the “Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”

Flynn admitted to being paid on at least one of these occasions – at an RT gala in Moscow where he dined with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It remains unclear how much General Flynn was paid for his dinner with Vladimir Putin, whether he received additional payments from Russian or other foreign sources on separate occasions, or whether he sought the approval of the Department of Defense or Congress to accept any of these payments,” the Ranking Members wrote.

On January 6, 2017, the National Intelligence Council issued its report detailing Russia’s attack on the United States in an effort to undermine the presidential election. This report described RT in stark terms as the “Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.” It explained how the “Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT’s coverage, recruiting people who can convey Russian strategic messaging because of their ideological beliefs.” In 2015, RT reportedly received 15.38 billion rubles ($400 million) in state funding from the Russian government.

The Ranking Members requested all communications in the possession of the Department of Defense between Flynn and Russian or other foreign officials, information about all direct or indirect payments he received from any foreign source, and documents relating to his work on behalf of the Leading Authorities Inc. speakers bureau.

Click here and see below to read today’s letter.

 

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