Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments
President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was warned by authorities when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign government-sourced money without “advance approval” from the Pentagon, according to documents released Thursday by the ranking Democrat on a House oversight committee.
Flynn, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general and Defense Intelligence Agency chief, was later paid tens of thousands of dollars for his work on behalf of foreign interests, including Russia’s state-sponsored RT television network and a Turkish-owned company linked to Turkey’s government.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., also said the Pentagon’s acting inspector general has launched an inquiry into whether those payments qualify as coming from foreign governments and whether Flynn properly informed military authorities about them.
Both Cummings and Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have previously said they planned to ask the Army to rule on whether Flynn properly informed and asked permission for the payments from Russian and Turkish entities.
A key document released Thursday by Cummings showed that Flynn was warned by a Defense Intelligence Agency official in October 2014 that he would need clearance from the agency before he could accept any earnings linked to foreign governments. Flynn was explicitly told in the document that the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments provision prohibits any monetary payments or gifts “from a foreign government unless congressional consent is first obtained.” The letter explained that such “advance approval” would need to come “from the relevant service secretary.”