Top lawmakers on a U.S. House Committee said Tuesday that a review of documents submitted by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn shows that the aide to President Donald Trump never revealed he had been paid for a 2015 trip to Russia, and that Flynn never sought the permission of the military or State Department for that venture.
"He was supposed to seek permission prior to traveling to Russia to not only accept that payment, but to engage in that activity," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
"This is something Gen. Flynn was supposed to do as a former officer," Chaffetz added, after viewing documents filed by Flynn in 2016 in order to maintain his security clearance.
Both Chaffetz and top committee Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) suggested to reporters that Flynn had violated federal law by failing to disclose a $33,750 payment from the Kremlin-backed RT network for his visit to Moscow, where he was photographed at dinner with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Also not declared on his SF-86 forms, $11,250 in payments for two speeches in the United States, which Flynn gave to a Russian cybersecurity firm, and a Russian cargo airline.
"That money needs to be recovered," Chaffetz told reporters at the Capitol.
As a former military officer, Flynn would have been covered not only by the emoluments clause in the Constitution, but also federal law, "which requires advance approval" of any financial relationship, especially with a foreign government.
Meanwhile, Chaffetz and Cummings also revealed that the White House had rejected requests from the Oversight Committee for certain documents related to Flynn, who left after only a few weeks as National Security Adviser for President Trump.
The committee had asked for information about Flynn's contacts during the transition with foreign nationals - the White House said since those contacts likely might contain "classified, sensitive, and/or confidential information," that material would not be turned over to the panel.