Mike Flynn Did Not Disclose All Foreign Payments

CNN is reporting that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn did not disclose all foreign payments on his security clearance application.

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser did not properly disclose payments from Russia and does not appear to have complied with the law, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings said Tuesday after reviewing Michael Flynn’s application for a security clearance.

Chaffetz and Cummings announced their findings to reporters on the Hill following a classified gathering of the committee in which they reviewed documents that Cummings described as “extremely troubling.”

“I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said, referring to whether Flynn received permission from the Pentagon or the State Department or that he disclosed the more than $45,000 he was paid for a speech he gave to RT-TV in Russia

This kind of stuff is why a lot of people had concerns about Trump’s choice of Mike Flynn to begin with. You’d have to be a nitwit to think that Flynn was a Russian agent of influence but the fact is that the last several years of Flynn’s military career painted an unpleasant picture of a man impatient with process and who was mostly convinced the rules didn’t apply to him. While this stuff doesn’t put Flynn in any real legal jeopardy, it is going to end up being painful. If he is treated like anyone else, his clearance will be suspended and this puts his private business into jeopardy. If he did not receive permission to give the speech and was required to receive permission from Defense prior to doing so… and giving speeches via a speaker’s bureau contract is different from giving speeches on your own so this may not be as cut and dried as it looks… and he didn’t bother then he becomes liable for the pension payments received after the date of the speech.

Where I was underwhelmed by the kerfuffle over Jared Kushner’s omissions on his security clearance application (rich kid tells twenty-something personal assistant to fill out the form and don’t bother me) this action by Flynn has no innocent explanation. Flynn spent his entire adult life in the intelligence community and he knows the rules. The failure to disclose the RT payment reeks of both deception (the failure to file) and epic cluelessness (did he think giving a speech for RT would not be noticed because he was the national security adviser?).

On the whole, the nation dodged a bullet when Flynn was forced out of his position and a consummate professional was selected to replace him.