Flynn failed to disclose foreign trips on security clearance form
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is under scrutiny for again failing to disclose meetings with foreign government officials and a foreign trip on his security clearance form, a not uncommon “mistake” for members of the Trump admin. According to the top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Flynn failed to mention meeting with foreign government officials in 2015, despite traveling to Saudi Arabia multiple times to help broker a deal involving nuclear power plants.
On Monday, Reps. Elijah Cumming and Eliot Engel sent a letter requesting documents pertaining to two trips Flynn took to Saudi Arabia in 2015 as part of a joint U.S.-Russia effort to be build nuclear power plants “located in and financed by Saudi Arabia.” According to the letter, not only did Flynn fail to mention meeting with foreign government officials during the trip, he didn’t disclose one of the trip at all on his security clearance form. In addition to not disclosing one meeting, Flynn also “omitted significant details” about the other trip in October of 2015.
“He reported that he traveled to Saudi Arabia with a friend for six days to speak at a conference, that he stayed at the King Khaled International Hotel, and that his expenses were paid by a ‘work sponsor,'” the letter reads. “However, General Flynn failed to disclose the the identity of the friend who accompanied him; officials from General Flynn’s speaker’s bureaus could not identify any conference he may attended during this time period; there does not appear to be a hotel with the name General Flynn provided; and General Flynn failed to disclose who sponsored the trip.”
For what it’s worth, there’s hotel right next to King Khalid International Airport, it just has a different name. If I had to guess, Flynn probably stayed there.
“Most troubling of all, we have no record of Gen. Flynn identifying on his security clearance renewal application – or during his interview with security clearance investigators – even a single foreign government he had contact with in the seven years prior to submitting his security clearance application,” the letter continues.
Flynn, who was fired after serving for only 24 days as national security adviser, has been a central figure in the Russia probe. During a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Sisyak during the presidential transition, Flynn discussed easing Russian sanctions imposed by the Obama admin once Donald Trump became president. Flynn subsequently lied about this discussion to Vice President Mike Pence, which ultimately led to Flynn’s ousting.
Lying or failing to disclose info on a security form is felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Flynn should be well aware the possible consequences at this point because Cummings already sent him a letter about that over previous instances of not disclosing meetings with foreign officials and failing to comply with Senate subpoenas.
I’m sure Flynn just had trouble remembering all these meetings. He’s a good guy, after all.
[Politico | Photo: Getty]