Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the US presidential election and the Trump campaign appears to be making headway as he sends a request to the White House for documents on former security adviser Michael Flynn.
Trump stated he asked Mueller focus on the election, not his finances Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Special counsel Robert Mueller investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections has asked the White House for documents related to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, according to the New York Times. Although the request is not a subpoena, this is the first time the White House has been directly asked to transfer documents to the Mueller’s investigation team.
According to the report, investigators questioned witnesses about whether Flynn secretly received payment from the Turkish government during the final months of US President Donald Trump’s election campaign, on which he served as a senior adviser. At the core of the suspicions against Flynn are payments of more than half a million dollars transferred to Flynn’s former consulting firm by a Turkish-American businessman who is believed to have served as a government mediator between September and November 2016.
Reportedly, Mueller and his team are now investigating not only whether Flynn failed to report his links to a foreign government as required by law or if he had illicit ties with Russian elements, but all of Flynn’s business connections throughout the campaign. It should be noted that while the mere receiving of funds from a foreign government is not a violation of the law, Flynn had to declare it. Yet, if he attempted to cover it up, then the criminal consequences could be severe.
Robert Mueller Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Investigators also asked about Flynn’s paid speaking engagements at Russian companies for which he received more than $65,000 in 2015, as well as some of his consulting firm’s clients which included the Japanese government. Trump has publicly stated in the past that he believes Mueller should restrict his investigation on Russia’s involvement in the election and not expand into his or his associates’ finances.
Michael Flynn Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Neither has the White House or Flynn’s attorney responded to the recent reports on Mueller’s investigations but one of Trump’s attorneys said, “We’ve said before we’re collaborating with the special counsel on an ongoing basis.”