A request from the House Oversight Committee for additional information regarding payments that former national security adviser Michael Flynn received from foreign governments—including from RT, the Russian government television station, and other Russian entities—has been denied by the Trump administration.
Since some of the documents requested by the committee are related to Flynn’s activity prior to President Trump’s inauguration and others contain sensitive information, they are not in the White House’s possession, according to Legislative Affairs director Marc Short.
“It is unclear how such documents would be relevant to the stated purpose of the committee’s review, which according to your letter is to examine Lt. Gen. Flynn’s disclosure of payments related to activities that occurred in 2015 and 2016, prior to his service in the White House,” Short wrote in an April 19 letter sent to committee leaders.
In a March letter sent to the White House and the Defense Department, the committee requested an array of records related to the payments received by Flynn.
On Tuesday morning, the committee conducted a behind-closed-doors review of a collection of documents produced by the Pentagon in response to the request.
Flynn omitted the payments from Russian enterprises in his original financial disclosure forms submitted in February, yet filed an amended disclosure in March that noted payments for speeches from three Russian-linked companies, including RT. Despite the update, Flynn remains under suspicion in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the election.
Flynn was forced to resign in February after it was revealed that he had misinformed Vice President Pence and the public about the specifics of a phone discussion with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyac.
In exchange for immunity, Flynn, who also worked on Trump’s campaign and presidential transition, has offered to testify before the Senate and House Intelligence Committees—both of which are investigating Russian involvement in the election—but neither committee has agreed to his offer.
According to a suggestion by Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Flynn could potentially owe the U.S. government tens of thousands of dollars in remittance.
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