Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said his committee would be taking action as soon as Tuesday to determine how much money former national security adviser Michael Flynn received in payments from foreign governments, and how much he might be required to remit to the U.S.
“Our committee [has] actually been looking at something,” the Republican congressman said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday. “We have paperwork that’s due from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department today, but we may be doing something later this week related to his payments that he received from not only Russia but Turkey as well.”
Chaffetz said the House Oversight Committee would send a letter for final determination to the Government Accountability Office “as early as Tuesday,” but stressed that there was no criminal referral.
“Then the penalty most likely based on precedent would be that he’d have to repay all of the money that he did take,” Chaffetz said, adding that it likely would amount to “tens of thousands of dollars.”
Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser before being forced to resign in February, was paid tens of thousands of dollars by foreign companies for speeches, including from the Kremlin-backed television station RT and other Russian firms. Flynn previously had not included those payments on disclosure forms, a move likely to be scrutinized due to the separate FBI investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials to influence the outcome of the presidential election.
Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser after he was found to have misled officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition, last week requested immunity from prosecution from the FBI and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees after being asked to be interviewed about the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia. Chaffetz, who has criticized Flynn’s request for immunity, reasserted his stance that Flynn should not be given immunity Monday.
Trump has defended Flynn’s request for immunity, calling the investigation into ties between Russian officials and members of the Trump presidential campaign “a witch hunt.”