Two House Democrats are looking into whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied on his security clearance form about two trips to the Middle East, including one where he helped broker a $100 billion nuclear power plant deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2015.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democrat's highest ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, have requested information on that and another Mideast trip the same year, CNN reported.
"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," Cummings and Engel wrote, according to ABC News.
The two Democrats have called for all documents related to the nuclear deal to be released, including any that show Arab countries' agreement to pay Russia for the construction of nuclear reactors by buying "Russian military hardware" that otherwise would have been sold to Iran.
Flynn was forced to resign Feb. 13, just more than three weeks into the job, for failure to disclose his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to Vice President Mike Pence. He also is under fire for ties to the Russian state-controlled television network RT.
But according to the Democrats' letter, Flynn also failed to disclose his summer 2015 trip to work on the nuclear deal on his security clearance form.
Flynn did report a later trip in October 2015, but left out major details, including who paid for it and the identity of a "friend" with whom he traveled. Flynn said he stayed at the King Khaled International Hotel during the trip, but investigators in Congress have not been able to verify its existence.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told CNN's "OutFront with Erin Burnett" on Monday the disclosures emphasize how problematic it was for President Donald Trump to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to back off his probe of Flynn.
The White House has denied Trump ever asked Comey to stop the Flynn investigation on possible collusion with Russia, but Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 that he took Trump's words in a private meeting to mean just that.
Blumenthal said he doubts Flynn's omission could have been accidental.
"Gen. Flynn has been around for quite a while, and anybody who has worked in government knows that a falsehood on that kind of security clearance form, a falsehood to an FBI agent is punishable . . . by five years in prison," he said. "We're talking about a very serious felony for each one of these possible lies, and I think that a prosecutor would find it very difficult to believe that this was simply accidental."
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