Team Trump Refuses to Turn Over Key Vetting Documents on Flynn

What did he know and when did he know it? These iconic questions are swirling around President Donald Trump and his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. With the new revelations that received money from both the Russian and Turkish governments, it appears Team Trump is either about as incompetent as many critics believe or liked Flynn enough to overlook clear violations of the U.S. Constitution and the law. The U.S. Constitution prohibits members of the military from taking any money from foreign governments. Despite this, Flynn registered as a foreign agent after he left the administration.

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

Even retired members of the military can be called back at any time so it is important that there be no conflict of interest. As a lobbyist for Turkey, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, it is hard to see how Flynn could have anything but such a conflict. Both the Department of Defense and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight are looking into Flynn. The problem is that Team Trump is refusing to turn over the documents they used to vet the former general.

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was not happy with this situation. The ranking member on that committee said, “I honestly do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn. It makes the American people think the White House has something to hide. There is obviously a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow.”

For its part, the Department of Defense’s inspector general is looking into Flynn’s association with Russia and Turkey. He had been warned by the agency against taking these payments.

The White House has had several explanations for why it is not turning over what they used to vet Flynn. They claim they do not have anything that was used before January 20. They then claim that the documents they have are “too sensitive” to turn over. When all of that didn’t work, they fell back on an old standby. They blamed President Obama. The Obama administration fired Flynn.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said this, “My only point is that when General Flynn came into the White House he had an active security clearance issued during the Obama administration with all of the information that’s being discussed that occurred in 2015. So, I guess my only point is to explain how the process works and who adjudicated that.”

After Flynn was fired, Trump stood by him calling Flynn “a good man” and blaming the media for his departure from the administration. Flynn says he told Team Trump of his dealings with Turkey. It seems they knew about what Flynn was doing and just didn’t understand how serious it was and what the implications for our national security are. It will be impossible to know without a subpoena.

Featured image via Mark Makela/Getty Images.