The House Oversight Committee (HOC) was denied access to documents relating to former security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday, leading it to directly rebuke President Donald Trump’s vetting abilities.
Flynn allegedly accepted funds from the Russian government despite not seeking permission to do from the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of State. Jeffery Chaffetz, the chairman of the Republican committee, said that Flynn’s status as a former military officer obligated him to comply with the requirement to get permission.
The HOC is seeking information on several foreign payments that Flynn may have failed to disclose when he applied for his security clearance, including one tied to a speech he made at an event in Moscow. Flynn sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin at that event and was allegedly paid by the RT media network.
Chaffetz said there was no evidence that Flynn was in compliance with the law, adding that the White House refused to supply any documents as proof. Marc Short, who is the Director of Legislative Affairs for the White House, told the HOC that the White House did not have have the requested documents, and that is why the request was not accommodated.
Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings said Flynn should answer to the HOC because it seems that he did not disclose foreign payments. Cummings also quoted Title 18, Section 1001 of the United States Criminal Code that makes concealing a fact a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The HOC is one of several ongoing investigations of possible links between Donald Trump and Russia.