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House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

House Democrats are asking for new documents on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has become a central figure in the congressional Russian Federation investigation, related to any connection he has with Saudi Arabia and his apparent "failure to accurately report ... foreign travel and contacts".

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democrat's highest ranking member of on the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, have requested information on that and another Mideast trip the same year, CNN reported.

The potential omission could add to the legal jeopardy President Donald Trump's former national security adviser faces over the truthfulness of his statements to authorities and on government documents.

"We have no record of General Flynn reporting this trip or any contacts with foreign officials on his security clearance renewal application or in his interview with security clearance investigators", Cummings and Engel wrote.

Separately, federal investigators have been scrutinizing Flynn's work for a Turkish businessman and the Defense Department's inspector general has been looking into whether Flynn failed to get USA government permission to receive foreign payments.

In their letter Monday, Cummings and Engel said that in January 2016, just days after submitting the application to renew his security clearance, Flynn said during a lecture that he was speaking with many leaders in the Middle East as well as "a lot of folks in" leadership in Saudi Arabia.

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Of those to whom much is given, much is expected, and we Americans are blessed with more prosperity and power than most nations. Grassroots efforts may be a lesser substitute for national leadership and necessary regulation, but they will have to do.

A lawyer for Flynn, Rob Kelner, declined comment in an email Monday.

Cummings and Engel said Monday that the broader pattern has led them to pry deeper into the information Flynn has left off of his 2016 security clearance application.

Investigators note Flynn testified on June 10 that he had taken a recent trip to the Middle East and discussed nuclear power issues, and one week after he testified, Saudi Arabia and Rosatom (Russia's nuclear energy agency) signed a deal.

The lawmakers said Flynn told security clearance investigators that he traveled to Saudi Arabia because "as a business owner, he is working on developing business with another country". Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ask for documents related to Flynn's work with Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. He did not provide the identity of a USA citizen and friend who went on that trip with him, and he said he stayed at a hotel that does not appear to exist, although its name is close to that of the airport in Riyadh. Nor could they find any record of a "King Khaled International Hotel in Saudi Arabia", where Flynn reported staying, "although this name is similar to the name of the airport in Riyadh". They go on to note that Saudi Arabia was the first foreign country that Trump visited as president, and that the Trump administration recently "concluded" an arms deal with the country, questioning "what advice or input General Flynn may have offered relating to these matters, if any".

X-Co Dynamics is a Virginia-based consulting firm headed by former U.S. Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, whose board of retired military advisers included former National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander and former Marine Corps General James "Hoss" Cartwright, who was prosecuted a year ago for lying to the FBI in a leak investigation.

Shortly after the trip, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation announced a $100 billion agreement to build 16 nuclear power plants in the country. Flynn's financial disclosure did not show any financial payment from X-Co Dynamics for his involvement. -Russian business venture to develop nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia.


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