New Documents Reveal Michael Flynn Had Deeper Financial Ties To Russia

Kristopher Drake
March 17, 2017

Michael Flynn, was paid a total of $56,200 in 2015 by three Russian firms owned by or closely tied to the Kremlin, new documents released by congressional Democrats appear to show.

Cummings said he has given the Trump administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Department until April 7 to produce documents related to Flynn's contacts with foreign nationals and any documentation of funds he received from foreign sources. His speakers bureau, Leading Authorities, took a $11,250 cut.

In an addition to the RT payments, Flynn was also paid $11,250 for two speeches in Washington - one in August for Volga-Dnepr Airlines, a Russian charter cargo airline, and a second, in September, for Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc., a US subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab, a Russian-based cybersecurity firm.

The extent of the payments to Flynn added a new chapter into a string of contacts Trump aides had with Moscow in the months before Trump's victory in the US presidential election in November, as well as during the transition period before he took office in January.

Flynn was sacked less than month into the president's term after it was revealed that he misled the Vice President Pence about his communications with the Russian ambassador before the inauguration.

Flynn last week filed papers with the government indicating that he acted as a foreign agent on behalf of interest tied to the government of Turkey, getting paid more than $500,000.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Thursday that Flynn had not been asked to testify at a public hearing the committee will hold on Monday - the first such session since it launched its investigation of Russian meddling.

Documents released Thursday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, include a November 13, 2015 email from a RT TV official indicating the broadcaster "would be covering the payment of General Flynn's fee from our London office".

In letters sent to Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and FBI Director James Comey, Cummings said Flynn "violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy".

Cummings accused Trump and his advisers of showing unprecedented disinterest "in the truth" of Flynn's work on behalf of foreign clients - "whether due to willful ignorance or knowing indifference".

The White House has said Trump was unaware of Flynn's Turkey involvement, and Vice President Mike Pence has said he too did not know.

He says they violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution which bars retired military officials from accepting gifts or payments from any foreign government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, sits next to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, left, at an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of the RT (Russia Today) television news channel in Moscow, Dec.10, 2015.

The email promised to cover all travel costs.

FARA only requires the disclosure of work - including consulting, lobbying and public relations - done inside the USA on behalf of an individual or entity connected to a foreign sovereign government or government official.

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