Sunday 24 September 2017

White House blocks Flynn documents

Mr Flynn has been the subject of scrutiny for his potential ties to foreign states - especially Russia. Image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Mr Flynn has been the subject of scrutiny for his potential ties to foreign states - especially Russia. Image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Andrew Smith

The White House has refused a request from the House Oversight Committee to disclose documents related to payments received by former US national security adviser Michael Flynn from foreign sources.

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short wrote to the committee saying it would not complete the request, citing a number of reasons for the refusal.

The letter stated that some queries should be addressed to the Department of Defence, some of the information was not in the possession of the White House, and that the West Wing was simply "unable to accommodate" other requests.

Even with that refusal, Mr Flynn had already been connected to foreign actors through his bank account.

House Oversight investigators announced last month that Mr Flynn had received more than $500,000 (€457,000) from work for the Russian state-owned television network RT and for work with a lobbying firm that likely benefited Turkey.

Top members of the committee said yesterday that Mr Flynn had broken US law by not fully disclosing his business dealings with Russia when seeking a security clearance to work in the administration.

"I see no data to support the notion that Gen Flynn complied with the law," said Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the committee.

Mr Flynn has been the subject of scrutiny for his potential ties to foreign states - especially Russia.

Earlier this year, he was forced to resign from his position in the administration of US President Donald Trump for failing to disclose that he had discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

The Trump administration has been dogged by questions about the extent of contact members of the campaign team had with Russia during the 2016 election, adding to the scrutiny on Mr Flynn. Mr Trump has repeatedly denied that Russia had any role in helping him get elected.

Irish Independent

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