WASHINGTON — Former business associates of Michael Flynn have told lawmakers that he traveled to the Middle East in 2015 as part of a private proposal to build nuclear power plants across the region, a trip that the former Trump administration national security adviser never disclosed during his security clearance process.
In a letter released Wednesday, two top House Democrats reveal that companies involved in the proposal provided details of Flynn’s trip in June 2015 that suggest he also failed to report contacts with Israeli and Egyptian government officials. The lawmakers — Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York — are now asking the companies and Flynn to provide the names and nationalities of any officials he met with during the trip abroad.
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The information released by the lawmakers is the latest evidence that Flynn didn’t fully account for his foreign contacts and business entanglements even though he was liable for possible federal criminal penalties for lying or omitting such information. Security clearance questionnaires specifically ask applicants to report any meetings abroad or contacts with foreign government officials that occurred in the previous seven years. As a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn maintained a security clearance. His last renewal was in early 2016.
Flynn has been dogged by questions about his lack of disclosure of a Turkish lobbying operation and of foreign payments he accepted after leaving the military in 2014. Flynn also was forced to resign his Trump administration post in February after White House officials determined that he had misled them about the nature of diplomatic conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is scrutinizing Flynn’s foreign interactions as part of his probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any possible coordination with Trump associates. Earlier this year, that investigation incorporated an ongoing federal probe into Flynn’s lobbying for a Turkish businessman during the final months of the presidential campaign.
Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment on the letter. Flynn’s legal team has previously said that he’d like to cooperate with Congress but only intended …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – News