As President Donald Trump ignored a White House pooler’s question regarding Michael Flynn Thursday, Republican Chair of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asked the Acting Sec of the Army for a final determination as to whether former Trump National Security Adviser retired Gen. Mike Flynn broke the law by accepting payments from foreign government-controlled entities in a letter sent Thursday.
Referring to law (37 U.S.C. § 908), Chaffetz asks:
“By all appearances, Lt. Gen. Flynn violated 37 U.S.C. § 908 by accepting compensation from entities associated with foreign governments without obtaining consent to do so. I request that you or the appropriate entity investigate this matter and make a final determination as to whether Lt. Gen. Flynn in fact violated section 908.”
“In light of these apparent violations, I request that you determine whether Lt. Gen. Flynn violated 37 U.S.C. § 908 and, if necessary, initiate a process whereby Lt. Gen. Flynn shall repay the money in question. If your assessment finds that Lt. Gen. Flynn’s actions were consistent with DOD policies and guidelines, I request a written explanation of that conclusion.”
On Tuesday, Ranking Member Democrat Elijah Cummings noted, “There is no evidence anywhere in these documents that Flynn reported the funds he received for his trip to Moscow.” And Jason Chaffetz said he saw no information that suggests that Flynn complied with the law by properly disclosing payments he received from Russia.
Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter in February to Flynn’s consulting firm requesting documents related to his foreign speaking engagements and then in March they sent letters to the White House, FBI, DOD and Department of National Intelligence (DNI) requesting all documents related Flynn’s foreign contacts and payments.
I don’t want to get your hopes up only to be dashed, but currently Jason Chaffetz seems to be the only Republican who is actively interested in holding the Trump administration accountable even just in appearance. This doesn’t mean he will continue to put the country first, but right now he appears to be doing so.
Chaffetz has his eyes set on 2020, and frankly, this is a great way to kick off his run for the White House. He will be one of few Republicans who can say they took a stand to put the USA first. Even Governor John Kasich took the coward’s way out on Russia and Trump during a recent town hall.
The Republican Party is bereft of patriots, and Jason Chaffetz seems to have recognized the huge opening this leaves for anyone who is willing to take a stand. Sure, he probably has political motives, but at least he recognizes that his political future rests with the USA. And that’s a welcome change from the majority of Congressional Republicans right now.
There are many ways to skin a Russian cat and this is a roundabout way of building the blocks that tell a very bad story for Donald Trump, as the Republican President knew about Flynn’s ties to Russia before he chose him as his National Security Adviser.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.