Cummings Asks Vice President to Allow FBI to Release Security Clearance Application from Michael Flynn, Jr.
Cummings Asks Vice President to
Allow FBI to Release Security Clearance
Application from Michael Flynn, Jr.
Washington, D.C. (Dec.18, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking that he—in his capacity as head of the Transition Team—authorize the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to produce documents relating to the security clearance application submitted for Michael Flynn, Jr., the son of President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
“Since there has been some question in the past about whether you personally have received my letters, I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply,” Cummings wrote. “I request that you authorize the FBI’s release of the documents requested above by December 22, 2017. If you believe the decision to authorize the FBI to produce this information should be made by someone else, I request that you please inform me who that individual is.”
Last year, on November 16, 2016, Cummings sent a letter to then Vice President-Elect Pence requesting information about all individuals for whom the Transition Team requested security clearance or to whom the Transition Team proposed giving classified information.
Two days later, Cummings wrote another letter to Pence expressing concerns about General Flynn’s “apparent conflicts of interests,” and noting that Flynn Intel Group—and General Flynn himself—appeared to have conducted work on behalf of foreign governments. Although the Transition Team confirmed receipt of both letters, Pence never provided a response to either and later denied that he was aware of them.
On November 16, 2017, Cummings wrote to the FBI requesting all documents relating to the “foreign contacts” sections of Michael Flynn, Jr.’s security clearance application. This is the section of the application in which applicants must disclose their foreign contacts and payments, and the section on which General Flynn omitted multiple entries.
On December 5, 2017, the FBI responded in a letter stating that “[a]ny decision to release materials” relating to this inquiry “would be made in consultation with the relevant agency(ies).”
On December 6, 2016, President Trump fired Michael Flynn, Jr. from the transition team “for using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington.” Michael Flynn, Jr. also reportedly had a transition team email address and press accounts reported that the Transition Team led by Vice President Pence had requested a security clearance for him.
Later that same day, Vice President-Elect Pence had this lengthy exchange on CNN:
PENCE: I said this morning that his son had no involvement in the transition, but I have talked to General Flynn. And his son was helping him a bit with scheduling and administrative items. But that’s no longer the case. Look, all of our families want to be helpful. And four weeks to the day from Election Day, there has been an awful lot of work to do. But Mike Flynn Jr. is no longer associated with General Flynn’s efforts or with the transition team. And we’re focused eyes forward.
TAPPER: You’re downplaying his role. But you must be aware that the transition team put in for security clearance for Michael G. Flynn, the son of Lieutenant General Flynn.
PENCE: Well, I am aware, in talking to General Flynn, that his son was helping with scheduling, Jake.
TAPPER: No, but you put in for a security clearance for him.
PENCE: He was helping his dad arrange for meetings and provide meetings.
TAPPER: But do you need security clearance to do scheduling?
PENCE: I think that’s the appropriate decision, for us to move forward, avoid any further distraction. And I’m very confident as we continue to build this team. And, as tonight, you will see the president-elect formally announce General Mattis as the new secretary of the Department of Defense, that the American people are going to be impressed with the way that the president-elect is bringing together men and women that are make—will make America safe again.
TAPPER: I want to move on to other issues, but I am afraid I just didn’t get an answer, which is, were you aware that the transition had put in for a security clearance for Michael Flynn Jr.?
PENCE: I have worked very closely with General Flynn. We have met on many occasions. I have never—I have never seen his son present for any of those meetings.
TAPPER: But you’re head of the transition team, so you know who you put in for security clearances for.
PENCE: Well, General Flynn did inform me that his son was helping on administrative matters.
TAPPER: It’s just you’re not answering the question, which is, were you aware that the transition team had put in for a security clearance? This is a young man who had a social media profile that had all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories, that had all sorts of links and retweets with white supremacists. Were you aware that the transition put in for a security clearance for him?
PENCE: Well, what I can tell you is that, in talking with General Flynn today, he made me aware that his son was assisting him in scheduling meetings.
TAPPER: And that you put in for a security clearance?
PENCE: Well, whatever the appropriate paperwork was to assist him in that regard, Jake, I’m sure was taking place.