News and Commentary

Flynn May Have Lied To Federal Investigators. That’s A Felony.

According to a letter from Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn did not tell the truth when he informed Pentagon investigators he had not received income from foreign companies and had only “insubstantial contact” with foreign nationals.

Flynn was applying for a top-secret security clearance in early 2016, according to the letter, which was based on a “Report of Investigation” from March 2016 from the Pentagon. Cummings wrote that the internal Pentagon Report of Investigation and other documents “appear to indicate that General Flynn lied to the investigators who interviewed him in 2016 as part of his security clearance renewal,”

But contrary to what Flynn told investigators, two months before he was questioned he sat next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at a Moscow gala for RT, the Kremlin-financed television network; Flynn was paid over$45,000 to attend and give a speech.

This could spell real trouble for Flynn, as intentionally lying to federal investigators is a felony; he could spend five years in jail.

Prior to Cummings’ letter, Flynn had declined to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee to hand over documents pertaining to Russia’s interference in the American presidential election. But Flynn invoking the Fifth Amendment could leave him in contempt of Congress and a possible criminal charge.

The news that Flynn had failed to disclose the income he received in Russia was not new, but Cummings’ letter insists he had lied to investigators, which is new.

Cummings’ letter was sent to Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who is chairman of the Oversight Committee.