Army reviewing watchdog probe on Michael Flynn’s international dealings

The Army is reviewing a probe from the Department of Defense’s (DOD) internal watchdog into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s international dealings, a spokesperson for the Army confirmed to The Hill. 

In a statement obtained via email, Army spokesperson Col. Cathy Wilkinson said “the Acting Secretary of the Army has received the case from the DoD Inspector General for review.”

The review could bring tens of thousands of dollars in penalties against Flynn, according to The Washington Post.

Dwrena Allen, a spokesperson for the Pentagon’s inspector general, told CNN in a statement that the watchdog began its investigation in April 2017 into an allegation that Flynn “failed to obtain required approval from the Army and the Department of State before receiving any emolument from a foreign government or a foreign government-controlled entity.”

The probe was placed in “abeyance,” or temporary suspension, in June 2017 amid criminal allegations into Flynn by the Department of Justice, Allen told the news outlet. Allen further said the DOJ permitted the watchdog to pick up its investigation after former President Trump pardoned Flynn in late November.

“On January 27, 2021, we closed our investigation against LTG Flynn and forwarded several administrative matters to the Acting Secretary of the Army for review and appropriate action,” she told the news outlet.

The probe was centered around money that Flynn received from Russian and Turkish entities after his retirement from the Army in 2014, according to the Post, which first reported the referral.

The Post noted that the DOD “may pursue debt collection” if a retired service member doesn’t secure approval for accepting foreign payments. The agency cannot collect any more than what someone made in retirement during a period of unauthorized employment. 

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI regarding his contacts with top Russian diplomats and agreed to participate in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

The retired three-star general withdrew that plea in 2020, and the DOJ sought to drop the charges against him.

Flynn re-entered the spotlight last year as he backed Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was tainted due to widespread voter fraud. 

Updated 10:02 p.m.

Tags Department of Defense Donald Trump Michael Flynn Robert Mueller U.S. Army
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