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Flynn Accused Of Lying To Gain Security Clearance

| by Jordan Smith

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn allegedly lied to gain a renewal of his security clearance in 2016, according to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland made the allegation May 22, NBC News reported.

Cummings explained the circumstances in a letter to HOC Chairman Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

"The Oversight Committee has in our possession documents that appear to indicate that General Flynn lied to the investigators who interviewed him in 2016 as part of his security clearance renewal," wrote Cummings, according to NBC.

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"Specifically, the Committee has obtained a Report of Investigation dated March 14, 2016, showing that General Flynn told security clearance investigators that he was paid by 'U.S. companies' when he traveled to Moscow in December 2015 to dine at a gala with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actual source of the funds for General Flynn's trip was not a U.S. company, but the Russian media propaganda arm, RT," he added.

An official with direct knowledge of the renewal process noted that Flynn left blank a section of a form asking him to disclose any business transactions with foreign entities.

"It was a lie of omission," the official added.

Flynn also noted on a form that he had only "insubstantial contacts" with foreign officials.

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"It is difficult to understand how General Flynn could have believed his dinner with Vladimir Putin was an 'insubstantial contact'," Cummings added.

Flynn, who was fired by President Donald Trump as national security adviser in February, spoke to the Washington Post in July 2016 about the Moscow trip and sought to downplay its significance.

"I was asked by my speakers bureau, [Leading Authorities, Inc.]. I do public speaking. It was in Russia. It was a paid speaking opportunity I get paid so much. The speakers bureau got paid so much, based on our contract," Flynn said.

Flynn is also under investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

On May 22, Flynn's attorneys sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee invoking Flynn's Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to hand over documents requested under subpoena.

"The context in which the committee has called for General Flynn's testimonial production of documents makes clear that he has more than a reasonable apprehension that any testimony he provides could be used against him," wrote Flynn's attorneys, according to the Associated Press.

Flynn argued that his refusal to provide documents did not amount to an admission of wrongdoing. instead, he put the decision down to the political climate, with Democrats calling for his prosecution.

Robert Kelner, Flynn's attorney, stated in March that the general wanted to tell his story "if the circumstances permit," Bbt he stressed that it would not be appropriate for Flynn to agree to questioning by the committee "without assurances against unfair prosecution."

Sources: NBC News, Associated Press via CBC / Photo credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Wikimedia Commons

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