Probe sug­gests Flynn broke law.

White House dis­tances former aide

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAN BOY­LAN AND S.A. MILLER — Sally Per­sons con­trib­uted to this re­port.

The White House on Tues­day at­tempted to put dis­tance be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and his former top se­cu­rity aide af­ter con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tors said former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Mike Flynn may have failed to dis­close for­eign fi­nan­cial ties, in­clud­ing a din­ner with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, while pre­par­ing to join Mr. Trump’s White House.

In Fe­bru­ary the re­tired gen­eral resigned af­ter just weeks on the job as Mr. Trump’s top se­cu­rity aide fol­low­ing reports he mis­led Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and other of­fi­cials about his deal­ings with Rus­sia dur­ing the tran­si­tion from the Obama to Trump ad­min­is­tra­tions — par­tic­u­larly about discussions with Am­bas­sador Sergey Kislyak.

On Tues­day a bi­par­ti­san con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­view­ing clas­si­fied doc­u­ments, in­clud­ing a fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure form pro­vided by the De­fense In­tel­li­gence Agency, said Mr. Flynn may have bro­ken the law by not fully de­tail­ing his deal­ings with Rus­sia when he ap­plied for a se­cu­rity clear­ance in Jan­uary to work at the White House.

Speak­ing to re­porters af­ter a closed­door doc­u­ment re­view, House Over­sight and Govern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee Chair­man Jason Chaf­fetz and rank­ing Demo­cratic mem­ber Rep. Eli­jah E. Cum­mings said they had “grave concerns” about Mr. Flynn’s ac­tions and called their find­ings “ex­tremely trou­bling.”

Ear­lier Tues­day, a Se­nate Ju­di­ciary sub­com­mit­tee an­nounced a pub­lic hear­ing May 8 to hear tes­ti­mony for the first time from the former act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral, Sally Yates, who played a role in Mr. Flynn’s fir­ing.

In a state­ment, Mr. Flynn’s lawyer said his client had al­ready briefed the De­fense In­tel­li­gence Agency, which Mr. Flynn had led un­til 2014, about the RT Moscow event. Mr. Flynn also an­swered all DIA ques­tions con­cern­ing the travel, ac­cord­ing to his at­tor­ney, Robert Kelner.

Interaction with Rus­sian of­fi­cials be­came a flash point late last year be­cause of al­le­ga­tions that the Trump cam­paign con­spired with Moscow to tam­per with the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Those al­le­ga­tions are the sub­ject of sev­eral con­gres­sional probes, in­clud­ing the ef­fort by Mr. Chaf­fetz and Mr. Cum­mings to ob­tain doc­u­ments re­lated to Mr. Flynn’s for­eign con­tacts and pay­ments from the White House, FBI, Depart­ment of De­fense and Di­rec­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence. The FBI is also con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­ga­tors found ear­lier this year that Mr. Flynn was paid over $65,000 in 2015 by com­pa­nies linked to Rus­sia, in­clud­ing the Rus­sia To­day news or­ga­ni­za­tion, to at­tend a gala cel­e­bra­tion and sit at the head ta­ble be­side Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials see Rus­sia To­day as a Krem­lin-funded pro­pa­ganda unit. Mr. Flynn’s lob­by­ing firm was also given $530,000 for work that pre­sum­ably ben­e­fited Turkey, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“Per­son­ally, I see no ev­i­dence or … data to sup­port the no­tion that Gen­eral Flynn com­plied with the law,” Mr. Chaf­fetz, Utah Repub­li­can, said on Tues­day regarding the pay­ments.

“That money needs to be re­cov­ered,” Mr. Chaf­fetz added. “You sim­ply can­not take money from Rus­sia, Turkey or any­body else.”

The law­mak­ers also said they were frus­trated with the White House re­sponse to their re­quest for more in­for­ma­tion in their probe. The ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tends that at least some of the re­quests from the panel go be­yond the scope of what they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

“The White House has re­fused to pro­vide the com­mit­tee with a sin­gle piece of pa­per,” Mr. Cum­mings, Mary­land Demo­crat, said.

Later on Tues­day, White House press secretary Sean Spicer shot back that all the ques­tions about Mr. Flynn and his se­cu­rity clear­ance dis­clo­sure pre­dated his brief stint in the West Wing. “There is noth­ing be­ing asked for that is in ref­er­ence to his ser­vice here,” Mr. Spicer told re­porters at the daily brief­ing at the White House.

He said that all high-rank­ing em­ploy­ees at the White House fill out fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure and back­ground check forms, and the onus is on each in­di­vid­ual to do it cor­rectly. “Every­body fills out forms all the time,” said Mr. Spicer. “Ev­ery­thing that is be­ing dis­cussed oc­curred prior to his em­ploy­ment at the White House.”

Since his res­ig­na­tion, Mr. Flynn has of­fered to tes­tify in ex­change for im­mu­nity from pros­e­cu­tion. On Tues­day, Mr. Cum­mings said he feels Mr. Flynn must be ques­tioned di­rectly regarding his for­eign pay­ments.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A bi­par­ti­san con­gres­sional in­quiry found former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Michael Flynn likely broke the law in not dis­clos­ing cash deals he had with Rus­sian par­ties.

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