House Democrats: Former adviser Flynn broke law by omitting contacts

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House Democrats have sent special counsel Robert Mueller -- the leader of the Justice Department's Russia investigation -- what they say is evidence that President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn violated the law.

The letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., was sent Tuesday to three companies Flynn advised in 2015 and 2016, with a copy sent to Mueller.

The letter says that Flynn, a former military officer who served in the Defense intelligence Agency and was Trump's national security adviser for 24 days, violated federal law by withholding foreign contacts he made during a trip to the Middle East.

"It appears that General Flynn violated federal law by omitting this trip and these foreign contacts from his security clearance renewal application in 2016 and concealing them from security clearance investigators who interviewed him," the letter states.

The trip was intended to explore a business deal between the Saudi government and a Russian agency regarding nuclear power. Three U.S. companies involved sought a joint venture with Moscow to bring nuclear power to several countries in the Middle East.

Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and Engel is the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction regarding the security clearance process.

The alleged violation of the law could help prosecutors in compelling Flynn to assist in the larger investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign.

During his vetting process as Trump's national security adviser, Flynn failed to declare a 2015 tip to Moscow on which he received a $33,000 fee and sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also was fined this year for a late filing with the Department of Justice, in which he disclosed his consulting group, Flynn Intel Group, was paid $533,000 on behalf of a firm owned by a Turkish businessman with close ties to Ankara's government.

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