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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Flynn failed to disclose Russian payments

Former National security adviser General Michael Flynn (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, failed to disclose payments from a Russian television network and two other firms linked to Russia in a February financial disclosure form, according to documents released by the White House.

In a form signed by Flynn on March 31, the former White House official listed speaking engagements to Russian entities, including the Kremlin-funded RT TV, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc, a U.S. subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

The form, released on Saturday, does not say how much Flynn was paid but the speeches are in a section titled “sources of compensation exceeding $5,000 in a year.”

The speeches were not included in a form that Flynn signed electronically on Feb. 11, which the White House also released.

The discrepancy on reporting income linked to Russia could add to the scrutiny the retired general, who was forced to resign his White House post after only 24 days, is already under for his contacts with Russian officials.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in an effort to help Trump’s candidacy. Multiple congressional committees and the FBI are looking into Russia’s involvement.

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said his client was in the process of submitting his financial disclosures forms in the days before he left the White House.

“That process was suspended when he left. When asked this week to resume the process and finalize the form, he did,” Kelner said in an email. He added that it had been “far from clear” that Flynn was required to itemize each speech.The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Flynn was forced out on Feb. 13 for misrepresenting conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak before Trump took office and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about them.

Flynn has requested immunity if he testifies before the intelligence committees of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, Kelner said last week.

Trump, a Republican, has said Democrats were pursuing investigations because they were upset about his Nov. 8 victory over their party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The Russian government has denied the allegations that it interfered in the U.S. election and released hacked emails of Democratic groups to tip the election toward Trump, who has called for better U.S. relations with Moscow.

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