House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

House Dems question Flynn disclosures of Middle East travel

House Democrats are asking for new documents on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has become a central figure in the congressional Russian Federation investigation, related to any connection he has with Saudi Arabia and his apparent "failure to accurately report ... foreign travel and contacts".

The letter from Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, and Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House foreign affairs committee, is the latest to call attention to potential problems with what Flynn reported to the USA government about his foreign travel, contacts and business after he left the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2014.

House investigators note that they do not know precisely when Flynn traveled to the Middle East for the nuclear deal, but they cite a discrepancy between the June 10, 2015 testimony he gave to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and his official August 2015 start date he lists with Hewlitt's consulting company.

In their letter, Cummings and Engel said they believe Flynn was not forthcoming about a trip to the Middle East in the summer of 2015.

The two Democrats wrote that they're looking into "what influence General Flynn's business interests with Saudi Arabia, Russia, or other countries may have had after he assumed his post in the White House".

He did report a later trip to Saudi Arabia on his security form, but left out important details, says the joint letter from Representatives Elijah E. Cummings and Eliot L. Engel, chairmen of the House Government Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees, respectively.

The letter from the Democrats otherwise does not raise the president's trip or attempt to link the visit to Flynn's conduct.

Oil prices dip on fears Middle East rift could harm OPEC cuts
Traders believe that the reduction in production of oil by OPEC member countries is one of the reasons why prices are going up. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.75 to WTI, the lowest since February.

Newsweek reported this month that Flynn, as an adviser at the time to defense consulting firms X-Co Dynamics and the Iron Bridge Group, promoted a potential bid by US and Russian firms to advance nuclear energy in the Arab world, financed by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. The letter does not indicate whether Flynn received any payment for the deal.

The Democrats write that they "have no record" that Flynn disclosed the trip when he applied for a new security clearance to join the Trump administration in January 2016. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ask for documents related to Flynn's work with Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

He reported a second trip to Saudi Arabia in October 2015 on security clearance forms, but the letter says he omitted key details of that trip, including who paid for it.

The letter states that he reported traveling to Saudi Arabia with a friend for six days to speak at a conference. The Democrats are requesting information about the trip - including who sponsored it, the identity of the "friend" Flynn reported that traveled with him, which conference he attended while in the country, and where he stayed. Congressional investigators could find no evidence that such a hotel existed.

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. To the contrary, the project Flynn was involved in at the time was expressly created to put such deals in the hands of a US -led worldwide consortium under strict safety and security controls.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, arrives to deliver a statement during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. on February 1, 2017.

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