Democrats: Flynn did not report Middle East nuclear trip involving Russia

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  June 20, 2017 at 10:02 AM
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June 20 (UPI) -- Top Democrats said President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn did not report a trip to the Middle East related to a nuclear venture involving Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The House Democrats said Flynn traveled to the Middle East in 2015 to work on an effort led by Saudi Arabia involving Russian and U.S. companies to construct nuclear reactors in the kingdom and throughout the Middle East. Flynn also worked to establish a plan to have Arab countries repay Russia by purchasing Russian military equipment, the Democrats added.

House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter to three companies involved in the venture requesting documents from Flynn's work.

"First, it appears that General Flynn failed to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 to pursue a joint U.S.-Russian business venture to develop nuclear facilities located in -- and financed by -- Saudi Arabia," the Democrats wrote in the letter dated Monday. "Second, General Flynn did report making a later trip ... but he omitted significant details."

The Democrats said Flynn did not reveal the identity of who paid for the expenses incurred on the October 2015 trip and added that "there does not appear to be a hotel" with the name Flynn provided.

The companies involved include Flynn's private Flynn Intel Group, as well as the X-Co Dynamics Inc./Iron Bridge Group and ACU Strategic Partners companies.

Among Flynn's responsibilities was to develop a security strategy for the nuclear reactors and to calm the concerns of U.S. allies in the Middle East, such as Israel and Egypt, the Democrats said.

"Most troubling of all, we have no record of Gen. Flynn identifying on his security clearance renewal application -- or during his interview with security clearance investigators -- even a single foreign government he had contact with," the Democrats added.

Flynn's failure to "disclose these contacts with Saudi or other foreign officials on his security clearance application or during his interview with security clearance investigators ... could constitute further violations" of federal law, the Democrats wrote.

Flynn was Trump's first appointment as national security adviser. He was forced to resign after 24 days when information surfaced that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Flynn also previously served as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was forced out in 2014 due to internal disagreements.

Flynn's involvement with Russia also extended to financial issues. On March 31, Flynn filed revised financial disclosure forms that included payments from three Russian companies with ties to the Kremlin prior to joining Trump's campaign.

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