Former NSA Michael Flynn under investigation over payments from Russia

Washington: The Pentagon's Inspector General had already opened an investigation into whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn received foreign payments without Pentagon's approval, according to a newly released document.

"This office has initiated an investigation to determine whether Lieutenant General (LTG) Flynn, US Army (Retired) failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving any emolument from a foreign government," according to a letter by the Inspector General's office of the Pentagon to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The letter was released on Thursday by Democrats in the House committee, Xinhua news agency reported.

Michael Flynn. AP

Michael Flynn. AP

Also on Thursday, Elijah Cummings, ranking member and a Democrat in the House committee released documents which showed that Flynn was warned on 8 October, 2014 by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) that he was prohibited by the Constitution from receiving payments from foreign sources without advance permission.

"Accordingly, if you are ever in a position where you would receive an emolument from a foreign government or from an entity that might be controlled by a foreign government, be sure to obtain advance approval from the Army prior to acceptance," Flynn was then told in a DIA letter.

In 2015, Flynn reportedly received about $34,000 US dollars for a speech at an event in Moscow, Russia and he was also under media scrutiny for his past lobbying on behalf of Turkey.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Flynn's attorney said Flynn briefed the DIA "extensively" on his 2015 overseas trip to Moscow and he answered questions that were posed by DIA on the trip.

However, another DIA letter released by Cummings appeared to counter Flynn's team's defence.

"DIA did not locate any records referring to LTG Flynn's receipt of money from a foreign source... DIA did not locate any records of LTG Flynn seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source," said the DIA letter.

Flynn was forced to step down in February after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his telephone conversation with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, in which he made comments about US sanctions on Russia.

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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 11:43:03 IST

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