Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn received bad news on Friday when the Senate Intelligence Committee rejected his bid for immunity in the Trump-Russia investigation. Now, Flynn’s facing more scrutiny based upon two of his financial disclosure forms that the Trump White House released on Saturday. Flynn signed off on the first form in February around the time that he resigned (and was revealed to have lied to the FBI and Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador). And the initial form shows how Flynn failed to report income from those pesky paid speeches (to Russian-related entities) that people won’t stop talking about.
The former military general earned about $65,000 during multiple 2015 speeches to Russian firms and RT — the Russian government’s propaganda channel. Where the latter was concerned, Flynn reportedly spoke at a 10th anniversary gala about the relationship between U.S. intelligence and the White House, but somehow, Flynn was cool with not disclosing the income from this Moscow speech or others made in the country:
The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 “in a year.” That list appears to include all of the work that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, has done since leaving the military in 2014, without providing compensation figures for any of it.
No reason was given for the discrepancy between the two forms.
It bears mention that Flynn — who was photographed while sitting next to Putin at the RT gala — made these speeches while still enjoying top-secret level security clearance (from his military and Director of National Intelligence days). He also made quite the leap from his government salary, which he said goodbye to in 2014 after being fired by Obama for insubordination. His disclosure forms reveal that since that time, he managed to rake in around $1.5 million in income.
On a very related note, one would imagine that lobbying for the Turkish government is a lucrative endeavor, and indeed, the Flynn Intel Group raked in $530,000 related to those 2016 efforts. However, these payments were handled through the Flynn’s firm and were not subject to appearing on his personal disclosure forms, unlike those speeches in Russia.
In releasing these forms on Saturday, the Trump administration certainly isn’t helping Flynn. Perhaps this is a warning shot for whatever testimony Flynn will give when he’s inevitably subpoenaed for Russia-related testimony in front of Congress. Trump tweeted support for Flynn’s immunity bid, but there’s no telling how the rest of the White House wants to handle this mess.