A House committee investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn revealed today that Flynn received tens of thousands of dollars in 2015 from RT, the state-run Russian television network.
Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Government Oversight Committee, noted in a letter addressed to Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, that Flynn also received $11,250 from a Russian charter airline and $11,250 from the U.S. arm of Kaspersky, a prominent Russia-based cyber security company.
According to the documents, Flynn also received $11,250 from a Russian charter cargo airline and $11,250 from a Russia-based cybersecurity corporation, though neither of those companies were state-owned.
Shortly after the December 10, 2015 broadcast showing Flynn at the head table alongside CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a senior USA intelligence official told ABC News it was a stunning image of the former military intelligence chief, "that close to a despot, an enemy to the US, at an event for the Russian government's propaganda arm".
The extent of the payments to Flynn added a new chapter into a string of contacts Trump aides had with Moscow in the months before Trump's victory in the US presidential election in November, as well as during the transition period before he took office in January.
The records show that the bulk of the money, more than $45,000, came from the Russian government-backed television network RT, in connection to a December 2015 trip Flynn took to Moscow. Those documents show Flynn earned $530,000 a year ago from the firm while serving as a top adviser to Trump's campaign.
It is still not clear what prompted Flynn to register as a foreign agent for that work.
The Post also published documents backing up the payments, including an email trail that showed RT and Flynn's staff haggling over his fee for the Russian Federation trip; the final agreed cost was lower than the general's initial asking price.
Cummings questioned whether Flynn violated a provision of the Constitution that would bar him - as a retired military officer - from accepting a payment or "emolument" from a foreign government.
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Flynn last week filed paperwork retroactively notifying the Justice Department that he had done work that may have benefitted the government of Turkey.
"I can not recall any time in our nation's history when the President selected as his National Security Advisor someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy", he wrote.
A January U.S. intelligence community report on Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election was particularly harsh in its judgment of RT's role.
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Flynn was paid for his work with both companies while he still had top-secret level security clearance, a year after he was sacked as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris noted.
The findings were contained in the community's report about Russia's attempt to influence the U.S. election.
Flynn's rep responds, "Great news!" According to the company, Kaspersky Lab "has no ties to any government, but the company is proud to collaborate with the authorities of many countries, as well as worldwide law enforcement agencies in the fight against cybercrime".
Flynn was sacked from the national security advisor role last month following revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump administration officials about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
According to Cummings' letter, the airline, Volga-Dnepr, was removed from a list of approved United Nations vendors in 2007 following corruption allegations against two Russian officials who steered contracts to the firm.