The scandal that Lt. General Michael Flynn has created could end up being the downfall of the Trump administration. Thursday, it was revealed that Flynn’s relationship with foreign nations had brought a warning from the Pentagon in regards to accepting payments from foreign countries. According to new documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee, the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 warned Flynn as he was approaching retirement.
Also, the House Oversight Committee released details that the inspector general of the Department of Defense also opened an investigation of Flynn earlier this month. A spokesman for the Inspector General also confirmed the investigation stating that, “on April 4, the DoD OIG initiated an investigation to determine if Lieutenant General (Retired) Flynn accepted payments in violation of the Emoluments Clause, implementing laws, or Department of Defense regulations.” The release of these documents come from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on the House oversight committee. Cummings stated that “these documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon.”
This newest question of a possible illegal and unethical behavior by President Trump’s former National Security advisor compound the allegations of Flynn acting for the interests of Russia or Turkey while he was serving the Trump campaign for President. It was revealed after Flynn was fired by Trump that he had received $45,000 from the RT, the Kremlin controlled media company, to appear with Russian President Putin at a gala celebrating the anniversary of the company. Putin and Flynn were seated together for the gala.
What does this have to do with the Trump administration? The fact that no one in the Trump campaign considered the work that Flynn was involved with before he became Trump’s national Security advisor is troubling. Either the campaign was incompetent in background checks or they knew and didn’t care. To take Trump at his word he didn’t know the question is then, why not? Then, after Trump was elected there was incompetence seen when once again, Flynn’s background was not seen as a problem. This time though, the new details of Flynn’s foreign money making scheme came to light. This time, it was learned, that Flynn was working as a foreign agent for the Turkish government. Flynn had not disclosed this fact to the Trump campaign or when he became a part of the administration. Why wasn’t a background check done to thoroughly vet the incoming National Security Advisor especially when he was privy to top secret documents and policies of the United State government?
The other problem that Flynn creates for the Trump administration is the very reason he was fired, speaking to Ambassador Kislyak about the sanctions that the Obama administration had placed on Russian over the findings that Russia interfered with the Presidential race in November. The call was placed on December 29th but wasn’t unearthed until January 12th. Flynn denied that the call was about the sanctions and told Vice President Pence as such. Yet, Sally Yates the acting head of the Attorney General’s office, informed the White House that Flynn was Flynn was deceiving the Trump administration about the contents of his call to Kislyak. At this point, after lying to the Vice President and misleading all those involved, Flynn was fired after only 24 days on February 13th. The problem with the resignation is that the Trump Administration was made aware of the deceptive actions by Flynn at the end of January. Yet, Trump did not ask for Flynn’s resignation. It wasn’t until the public was made aware of Flynn’s deceptive explanation of the Russian phone call. ‘
The question now is not what did the President know and when but why was Flynn allowed to continue in his position for over 2 weeks when it was known that Flynn had lied. The FBI and the acting Attorney General had proved it and notified the President Trump. Why would the administration allow Flynn to continue receiving briefs on national security and classified materials? That lapse in judgement could be the defining moment that could lead to the impeachment of President Trump.