Flynn did not disclose income from Russian firms to ethics officials before resigning
Before resigning under pressure as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn submitted a personal financial disclosure form to federal ethics officials that failed to note speaking fees he received from Russia-related entities in 2015, new filings show.
Flynn later noted the payments on an amended form he signed on Friday that listed among his sources of income the Russian government-backed television network RT, a US air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group and the US subsidiary of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. The White House released both sets of the forms on Saturday as part of a broad release of documents detailing the financial holdings of top Trump administration officials.
Flynn’s initial form was submitted to the Office of Government Ethics and the White House on February 11 – just days before he was forced to leave his post amid controversy over his contacts with Russia’s ambassador. On the document, he noted that he received fees through a speakers bureau, but he did not detail the names of the organisations that paid to have him as a speaker.
A person familiar with his filing said Flynn’s initial form was a draft that would have gone through the usual process of review and revision in consultation with the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Government Ethics. However, that process was suspended when Flynn resigned.
In recent days, White House officials asked him to finish the process and advised Flynn that he needed to itemise each organisation that paid to have him as a speaker, the person said.
Flynn first acknowledged in a July interview with Yahoo that he had been paid for the December 2015 RT event in Moscow, where the retired Army lieutenant general sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He later confirmed to The Washington Post that the network provided his payment.
The US government has said that RT, which receives Kremlin funding, is part of an array of propaganda outlets that help popularise a pro-Russian perspective through the media.
In all, Flynn earned at least US$1.3 million in the past year, including more than US$827,000 through his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, his disclosure shows.