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Cummings Issues Statement on Michael Flynn Guilty Plea

Dec 1, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on Michael Flynn Guilty Plea

 

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 1, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to criminal charges against President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn:

“Today’s admission of guilt by Michael Flynn is extremely grave because it proves beyond any doubt that he lied directly to the FBI while he was in the White House serving as President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor—just four days after the inauguration—in order to conceal his discussions with the Russian government about lifting sanctions. 

“The next critical question is why President Trump tried to get the FBI to drop its investigation of Flynn and then fired the FBI Director for pressing ahead against the President’s wishes. 

“From our perspective on the Oversight Committee, we have been at the forefront of investigating all of the allegations against Michael Flynn.  However, the White House has been refusing since March to produce a single document we requested on a bipartisan basis regarding Flynn’s foreign contacts, payments, and trips.  Unfortunately, since he became Chairman this summer, Chairman Gowdy has refused to issue a subpoena or even allow our Committee Members to vote on a subpoena to compel the White House to turn over these documents.  

“The American people want Republicans in Congress to stop protecting President Trump and start conducting legitimate, robust oversight of his actions and those of his top aides.” 

Cummings has been at the forefront of congressional investigations of Flynn. 

For example, on November 18, 2016, Cummings sent a letter to Vice President-elect Pence raising concerns about General’s Flynn’s apparent conflicts of interest in advising then-candidate Trump on matters related to Russia and Turkey, despite his company being paid to lobby on behalf of the interests of Turkey and his 2015 trip to Russia to speak at an RT event and dine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Pence claimed he did not know about concerns about Flynn’s Turkish lobbying work until March.

On March 22, 2017, then-Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings sent a bipartisan letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus requesting documents relating to Flynn’s foreign contacts and payments.  The White House has refused to provide any of the documents requested and has asserted no valid privilege for this refusal. 

Chaffetz and Cummings sent the letter to the White House after they obtained documents showing that RT—which U.S. intelligence agencies have been warning since 2012 is an instrument of the Russian government—paid more than $45,000 for General Flynn to speak at Russian gala in 2015.  Flynn also received $11,250 from a Russian charter cargo airline blacklisted by the Pentagon, and $11,250 from a Russia-based cybersecurity corporation whose software has now been banned from federal government computer systems.

On April 27, 2017, Cummings released documents provided to the Committee by the Department of Defense showing that General Flynn did not disclose the payments he received from RT to government officials or obtain permission from the U.S. government to accept payment from a foreign source.

On May 22, 2017, Cummings released an additional document suggesting that Flynn lied about his foreign contacts and travel during his security clearance interview in early 2016.

On October 18, 2017, all Democratic Committee Members wrote to Gowdy requesting that he issue a subpoena to compel the White House to produce documents it is withholding relating to Flynn in response to the Committee’s bipartisan request, or to allow Committee Members to vote on a motion to issue the subpoena.  Gowdy denied that request, and blocked the Committee’s ability to debate and vote on that subpoena on November 2, 2017.

Since June 2017Cummings has been pressing for documents from General Flynn and his business associates on a proposed multi-billion dollar deal Flynn was working on both before and when he entered the White House to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, potentially in a joint partnership with Russia.

115th Congress