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27 Apr, 2017 14:08

Pentagon inspector general opens investigation into former Trump adviser Flynn

Pentagon inspector general opens investigation into former Trump adviser Flynn

The inspector general's office has opened an investigation to determine whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn failed to obtain approval prior to receiving payment from a foreign government, a document published by a top Democrat states.

The document was posted online by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and Government Reform.

The White House welcomed the investigation.

“I think that’s appropriate. If they think that there’s wrongdoing, then the department’s inspector general should look into that,” press secretary Sean Spicer said. "We welcome that."

The letter was addressed to Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). It states that similar letters have also been provided to the chair and ranking members of “other Department of Defense committees of jurisdiction in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate.”

Cummings also posted a 2014 document which appears to show the Pentagon warning Flynn against taking any foreign payments.

"These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon," Cummings said in a statement.

"Our next step is to get the documents we are seeking from the White House so we can complete our investigation. I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents."

It comes just two days after Chaffetz said Flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing payments he received from foreign states.

Flynn was also supposed to seek permission from the State Department and the secretary of the Army prior to traveling to Russia in December 2015, where he spoke at an international conference hosted by RT in Moscow.

RT’s head of communications has stated that the payment that took place between the station and Flynn was “standard” and an “entirely transparent practice.”

Cummings said that the warning “could not have been clearer,” according to Reuters.

Following the publishing of the documents, Cummings said he does not understand why the White House is “covering up” for Flynn, adding that it “makes the American people think they have something to hide.”

Flynn was forced to resign in mid-February after he “inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect and others with incomplete information regarding his phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” he wrote in his resignation letter.