House Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on Monday asked Vice President Mike Pence to authorize the FBI to turn over documents relating to the security clearance application of Michael Flynn Jr., the son of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who worked on Trump’s transition team.
According to Cummings, Pence can authorize the FBI to do so because he was head of Trump’s transition team.
“Since there has been some question in the past about whether you personally have received my letters, I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply,” Cummings wrote in his Monday letter to Pence. “I request that you authorize the FBI’s release of the documents requested above by December 22, 2017. If you believe the decision to authorize the FBI to produce this information should be made by someone else, I request that you please inform me who that individual is.”
On November 16, 2016, Cummings asked Pence for information about anyone on the Trump transition team who sought security clearance, or to whom the team proposed giving classified information. He simultaneously wrote to the FBI requesting all documents relating to the “foreign contacts” sections of Flynn Jr.’s security clearance application.
Flynn Jr. was part of Trump’s transition team until December, when he was fired by the president-elect for spreading a fake news story on Twitter about Hillary Clinton. His father, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn was Trump’s national security adviser from January to February 2017, but resigned because of revelations that he misled Pence about his communications with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Flynn has since been charged by special counsel Robert Mueller and has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
On November 18, 2016, Cummings again wrote to Pence saying he was concerned about Flynn Jr.’s “apparent conflict of interests,” and that it appeared he had done work on behalf of foreign governments.
Flynn Jr. would have had to disclose his foreign contacts and payments, but it has been reported Flynn Jr. omitted multiple entries.
According to Cummings, the transition team confirmed both his letters were received, but Pence never responded to them.
Then, on December 5, 2016, the FBI responded to Cummings saying “[a]ny decision to release materials” relating to his inquiry “would be made in consultation with the relevant agency(ies).”
Flynn Jr. was fired on December 6, 2016.
"[A]s I made clear in my initial letter to the FBI, I am not requesting any investigative documents the FBI may have created as part of any criminal investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice or the Special Counsel," Cummings wrote Monday. "Instead, I am seeking only those original source documents that the FBI processed as part of its role in the normal conduct of background checks and adjudicatory functions for security clearance applicants, over which the Oversight Committee has jurisdiction."