Several House Democrats have asked the Pentagon to investigate national security adviser Michael Flynn for accepting a paid speaking gig for a Russian state-run media outlet in 2015.
Flynn, who retired from the Army as a lieutenant general in 2014, has admitted to speaking at a gala in Moscow and also sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, Democratic lawmakers are wondering whether Flynn, a retired member of the military, violated the Constitution by taking a payment from a foreign government.
The news was first reported by Politico, and the list of Democrats asking for an investigation includes Reps. Elijah Cummings, Adam Smith, John Conyers, Bennie Thompson, Adam Schiff, and Eliot Engel.
"It is extremely concerning that General Flynn chose to accept payment for appearing at a gala hosted by the propaganda arm of the Russian government, which attacked the United States in an effort to undermine our election," the ranking Democrats of six House committees wrote. "Even more concerning is that General Flynn, who President [Donald] Trump has now chosen to be his National Security Advisor, may have violated the Constitution in the process."
The Constitution's emoluments clause states that government officials cannot accept foreign payments or gifts. Retired members of the military are also subject to that, Politico notes.
Flynn has not made public how much he was paid for the speaking engagement.
"It remains unclear how much General Flynn was paid for his dinner with Vladimir Putin, whether he received additional payments from Russian or other foreign sources on separate occasions, or whether he sought the approval of the Department of Defense or Congress to accept any of these payments," the House members wrote.
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