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Tags: intelligence | committee | Adam Schiff | disclosure

Schiff: Intel Committee Wants Info on Flynn's New Disclosures

MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports"

By    |   Wednesday, 26 April 2017 03:50 PM EDT

The House Intelligence Committee will be interested, as part of its probe concerning Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections, whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's recently disclosed payments from that country played any part in the controversy, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday. 

"There are three legal questions concerning Mike Flynn, a couple of which have been raised by the Government Reform Committee," Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, told host Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

"Was he entitled or able to receive these payments from these Russian entities in this Turkish entity or as a general officer?" Schiff said. "Was he prohibited from even receiving this money?"

There are also questions about whether Flynn failed to report the payments on his security forms when his background check was being performed for his post in the Trump administration, Schiff said, and whether he made false statements about dealings with the Russians. 

The two top leaders of the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Flynn did not properly disclose payments from Russia and there was no evidence he complied with the law.

The disclosures came after reports Flynn had acted as a foreign agent representing the interests of Turkey's government in exchange for more than $500,000 during last year's presidential campaign.

"Now that we know he received $500,000 from Turkey, it explains something that mystified me," Schiff said. "Right around the election, Michael Flynn wrote an op-ed where he called for the United States to turn over this Turkish cleric who lives in the United States in Pennsylvania, to the Erdogan regime . . . that to me was a breathtaking request for him to make. Now, we know he was being paid to propagate this opinion. So, I find that very deeply disturbing."

Schiff said he also does not find it credible the White House did not have paperwork concerning Flynn.

"It sounds like from their response that they do have paperwork for Michael Flynn, that they weren't willing to give it to the Government Reform Committee," Schiff said. "They should provide it. What's more, they should provide [it to] the Intelligence Committee. Part of the justification they gave is the information was classified – obviously is not a bar to them providing that information to the Intelligence Committee. I think it would assist our efforts, and I hope they will comply."

Schiff said he does believe the committee proceedings are back on track, despite questions surrounding Chairman Devin Nunes' role.

"We are scheduling witnesses, not only in the open hearings that we're talking about, but we're going to be scheduling individual witnesses, witnesses to come forward to be deposed by the committee," Schiff said. "I would feel far more comfortable, though, if, in addition, we had a fully independent commission that was staffed well enough, focused on this, completely removed from the political process."

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The House Intelligence Committee will be interested whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's recently disclosed payments from Russia played any part in the controversy meddling in the election, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday.
intelligence, committee, Adam Schiff, disclosure
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 03:50 PM
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