Flynn Omitted a Saudi Nuclear Project in Filing, Democrats SayBy
Lawmakers say Flynn may have violated law on clearance form
Letter alleges another undisclosed Flynn link to Russia
Two top House Democrats allege that retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn illegally omitted reporting a 2015 Middle East business trip and other foreign contacts on his security clearance forms.
Flynn, President Donald Trump’s initial national security adviser, apparently failed to disclose private travel and meetings tied to a plan financed jointly by Russia and Saudi Arabia to build nuclear power plants across the region when he applied for government clearance, the lawmakers said.
“It appears that General Flynn violated federal law by omitting this trip and these foreign contacts from his security clearance renewal application in 2016 and concealing them from security clearance investigators who interviewed him as part of the background check process,” Representatives Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Eliot Engel of New York wrote in a letter released Wednesday.
Business associates have provided “multiple independent confirmations” of Flynn’s 2015 travel and meetings about the project, the Democrats said. Flynn’s foreign interactions are among the topics Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrutinizing in his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in that effort.
Flynn resigned as national security adviser after the White House determined he had misled officials about his contacts with Russia’s U.S. ambassador. A former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn was a top adviser to Trump during his campaign for president last year.
Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, made the assertions in writing to Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, and the heads of two consulting companies. They asked all three to further disclose what they know about Flynn’s dealings.
Kelner didn’t immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
Cummings and Engel say in their letter to Kelner and the consultants that their responses to an earlier June 19 letter from the two lawmakers provided “multiple independent confirmations” of press reports that Flynn traveled to the Middle East in 2015 to promote the project.
In doing so, Cummings and Engel wrote that “it appears that General Flynn violated federal law by omitting this trip and the foreign contacts from his security clearance renewal application in 2016” and also concealing them from security clearance investigators.
“Since these violations carry criminal penalties of up to five years in prison, we are providing your response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” the two senior Democrats wrote. They also requested in the letter copies of all documents they have relating to Flynn’s communications with foreign government officials or persons about the project.
Flynn has been subpoenaed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also looking into Russian meddling, but he hasn’t yet done so. Citing sources it didn’t identify, CNN reported on Tuesday that Flynn recently refused again to speak to the Senate panel.
The House Intelligence Committee in May also issued a subpoena to Flynn to turn over business records and documents, but members of that panel say he hasn’t yet appeared before that committee either.
— With assistance by Shannon Pettypiece