House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is asking the Army to make a "final determination" on whether retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn violated federal law by accepting payments from foreign government-controlled entities without registering as a lobbyist for those interests.
Flynn, a former national security adviser to President Trump, was warned not to accept payments from foreign sources without permission, according to documents released Thursday by House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings. Cummings also said that the Defense Department's independent watchdog, the inspector general, is launching an investigation.
In a letter addressed to Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy, Chaffetz asked that the "appropriate entity" investigate the matter. Chaffetz also asked, if necessary, that a plan for repayment of the money be initiated, and requested a written explanation if the probe finds that Flynn did not violate DOD policies or guidelines.
The standard method of collecting this debt is by docking the individual's pension or retirement pay, Chaffetz noted.
The oversight panel sent a letter to Flynn's consulting firm in February requesting information related to his foreign speaking engagements. It then released documents in March that showed Flynn was paid by Russia's state-sponsored TV network, RT, for a speech, travel and lodgings.
Retired military officers are only allowed to accept payments form foreign governments with permission from Congress. The letter stated that Flynn reportedly told officials at the Department of National Intelligence about his trip, but did not disclose receiving any funding.
On March 22, Chaffetz and Cummings sent letters to the White House, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Defense Department and Defense Intelligence Agency requesting the full slate of documents related to Flynn's foreign contacts and payments.
Flynn registered retroactively as a foreign agent in February and disclosed that he was paid by a Dutch company to represent Turkish interests. That same month Flynn was fired from the White House after it was revealed his misled Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with a Russian envoy.