Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

House Dems pry into reported Flynn, Saudi Russia energy deal

House Dems pry into reported Flynn, Saudi Russia energy deal

House Democratic leaders are pressing former national security adviser Michael Flynn for documents and details related two trips he made to the Middle East in 2015 that they argue he failed to disclose - in part or in whole - on security clearance forms.

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who briefly served as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, had disclosed an October 2015 trip to Saudi Arabia but didn't detail any official contacts in his application, according to a letter written by Representatives Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings.

Flynn's failure to "disclose these contacts with Saudi or other foreign officials on his security clearance application or during his interview with security clearance investigators. could constitute further violations" of federal law, the Democrats wrote. -Russian partnership to construct nuclear reactors for civilian power needs.

The top Democrats on the House oversight committee and the House foreign affairs committee sent a request to Flynn's lawyers - as well as two consultants - seeking additional documents about a summer 2015 trip he took to the Middle East to float a nuclear energy deal involving Russian Federation.

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The two Democrats also said in their letter Monday that Flynn told US government investigators only that a "work sponsor" had paid for him to attend a conference during the October 2015 trip.

As the Cummings-Engel letter on Monday noted, "According to a financial disclosure form that General Flynn submitted after he was sacked as National Security Advisor, he did not begin advising X-Co Dynamics Inc./IronBridge Group until August 2015", two months after his trip to Israel and Egypt.

Cummings and Engel said Monday that the broader pattern has led them to pry deeper into the information Flynn has left off of his 2016 security clearance application.

Flynn's involvement with Russian Federation also extended to financial issues.

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Among Flynn's responsibilities was to develop a security strategy for the nuclear reactors and to calm the concerns of USA allies in the Middle East, such as Israel and Egypt, the Democrats said.

Beyond that, Flynn has been under scrutiny because even before he took office this year - and without disclosing that he had been paid $500,000 by a company to work on behalf of Turkey's interests in 2016 - he told President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, to hold off on a Pentagon plan to retake the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa. Nor could they find any record of a "King Khaled International Hotel in Saudi Arabia", where Flynn reported staying, "although this name is similar to the name of the airport in Riyadh".

X-Co Dynamics is a Virginia-based consulting firm headed by former U.S. Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, whose board of retired military advisers included former National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander and former Marine Corps General James "Hoss" Cartwright, who was prosecuted past year for lying to the FBI in a leak investigation.

Flynn did not detail his work with X-Co Dynamics in the disclosure, but the Newsweek report alleged that Flynn's trip to Israel and Egypt in summer 2015 was part of a private effort by the firm to advance the idea of a massive ring of atomic reactors that would be built by the US nuclear industry and the Russian government and largely bankrolled by Saudi Arabia.

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ACU Strategic Partners managing director Alex Copson did not immediately respond to an email from the AP seeking comment.

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