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World
26 Apr 2017

Flynn controversy: White House blocks House Oversight Committee document request

White House blocks congressional committee's Flynn document request

The White House has told the House Oversight Committee it won't comply with a request to release files on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Lawmakers on the congressional committee suspect Flynn failed to disclose funds he received to address a Moscow gala in Dec'15, where he sat next to President Putin.

Flynn resigned as NSA in February over his suspected links to Russia.

In context

White House blocks congressional committee's Flynn document request

Response

White House refers committee to defense department

The oversight committee wants access to Flynn's application for security clearance prior to his joining the White House as NSA in January.

The White House has referred the request to the Department of Defense.

In a letter dated April 19, the White House said it would be "unable to accommodate" the request as it pertains to Flynn's actions before he joined the White House.

Flynn being investigated in connection to Russia's alleged election meddling

The FBI and two congressional committees are scrutinizing Flynn's alleged links to Russia as part of a wider investigation into allegations that Moscow tried helping Donald Trump win the presidential election.

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Money

Flynn received $33,000 from Russian broadcaster, $500,000 from Turkey

Flynn didn't initially report the $33,000 payment from Russian broadcaster RT in 2015 while filing financial disclosure forms related to his White House security clearance.

He revealed three payments from the Russian government while filing an amended form in March.

Flynn also received over $500,000 from Turkey for lobbying on its behalf in Washington after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2014.

Flynn's actions a major embarrassment for Trump administration

The developments surrounding Flynn represent a major embarrassment for the Trump administration. It represents a huge breakdown on the vetting process under which high-ranking officials receive security clearances. The NSA in particular has access to extremely sensitive material. Flynn could face criminal charges.

Legal noose tightens

Committee: No data proof that Flynn complied with law

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the oversight committee, said "I see no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law."

"As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else."

He said it appeared as if Flynn had taken the money, which was "inappropriate… And there are repercussions for the violation of law."

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