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The Pentagon Is the Latest Agency to Investigate Michael Flynn

The Department of Defense is looking into the payments Flynn received from Russia prior to becoming Trump's national security adviser.
Photo via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Earlier this week, lawmakers investigating Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said it was likely he broke the law when he took money from foreign governments after his retirement. Now, the Department of Defense is looking into the matter, thanks to new documents that show Flynn was warned about taking foreign money, Politico reports.

Back in 2014, when Flynn retired from the Army in 2014, he received a letter from the Defense Intelligence Agency warning him about taking money from foreign entities. The documents say that under the Constitution's emoluments clause it's illegal for a former military official to accept "consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary" without running it by the government first.


According to Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Flynn was paid by foreign governments after he retired and did not disclose some of those payments to the government. One, Cummings says, was a $45,000 speaking fee from the Russian-backed network RT in 2015.

"These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon," Cummings said in a statement Thursday. "Our next step is to get the documents we are seeking from the White House so we can complete our investigation. I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents."

Now, to find out exactly how much Flynn tried to conceal—and how much the White House knew—the Oversight Committee will have to get its hands on the documents he filed before joining Trump's team. But according to the Hill, the White House is being less than cooperative, saying it doesn't have them.

"There is a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow," Cummings said. "I honestly don't understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn."

Flynn stepped down from his post as Trump's national security adviser just 23 days after joining the administration amid accusations he misled the White House about phone conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He's also a central figure being investigated in the FBI's ongoing probe of Russia's alleged election meddling, according to CNN.

During the campaign, Flynn avidly supported Trump and criticized Hillary Clinton for using a private email server.

"If I did a tenth of what she did, I'd be in jail today," he once said at a campaign rally.