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Payments from Russian Federation kept secret

Senior members of Congress on the House Oversight Committee say classified military documents show the Trump administration's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, did not ask permission or inform the United States government about payments he received for appearances before Russian organizations in 2015 and for lobbying that helped Turkey's government.

The two leading members of the oversight committee, Mr. Cummings and Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz, suggest the payments and the lack of disclosure may have broken the law.

Among the payments in question was more than $US33,000 ($A43,800) Flynn received in 2015 from the Russia Today television network described by USA intelligence officials as a propaganda front for Russia's government.

Oversight investigators also revealed last month that Flynn had received $530,000 for work his lobbying firm did that, according to the committee, likely benefited the Republic of Turkey.

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

Cummings noted that the security clearance states that knowingly leaving off payments from foreign governments is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

As a retired lieutenant general, Flynn was required to obtain permission before receiving foreign payments, Chaffetz and Cummings say.

"I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law", Chaffetz said.

Flynn was forced to resign on February 13 for failing to disclose talks with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, about U.S. sanctions on Moscow and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations, which occurred in December before Trump took office.

The House Oversight Committee investigation is one of several on Capitol Hill examining ties between Donald Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation.

"That would be a question for him", Spicer said. Some Democrats believe the White House wants to limit what Yates says publicly, but the White House has denied this. That all happened, he filled that form out prior to coming here.

The congressmen said they raised questions about Flynn's Russian Federation trip after being briefed by officials of the DIA and reviewing classified documents the agency provided.

"The form he had to fill out", Connolly said, "specifically says you must answer completely and truthfully".

He didn't. And he should have reported those payments when applying for security clearance. But Cummings said the documents were "extremely troubling" and he urged the administration to declassify them.

The oversight committee's announcement that Flynn's SF86 ommissions were legally questionable has fueled calls from House Democrats for Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to have his security clearance suspended.

The White House is slamming this barn door way too late.

The rebuke came as the House and Senate intelligence committees move ahead with their investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election to help Trump.

Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, said Flynn reported his plans to travel to Russian Federation to his former agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and he briefed officials there after he returned. James Clapper, former National Intelligence Director, will also testify at the hearing.

"The White House has refused to provide this committee with a single piece of paper", Cummings said, "and that is simply unacceptable".


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