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Pentagon Watchdog Probes Whether Flynn Illegally Took Payments From Russia

Michael Flynn was paid $45,000 by Russia's RT television network during a 2015 trip to Moscow.

The Pentagon inspector-general has launched an investigation into whether former Trump security adviser Michael Flynn accepted money from Russia without the required approval, U.S. House Democrats have said.

Flynn was paid $45,000 by Russia's RT television network during a 2015 trip to Moscow after he was ousted as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired as an Army lieutenant general.

Senior lawmakers said this week that Flynn likely broke the law by failing to request and receive permission to accept the payment for speaking at an RT gala dinner at which he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

If substantiated, such a failure would violate regulations rooted in the constitution that bar current and retired military officers from accepting "emoluments" from foreign powers, the Democrats said on April 27.

The Democrats released Defense Department documents saying the Pentagon found no evidence that Flynn requested permission to accept foreign funds, despite a 2014 warning against taking such payments.

Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, said Flynn gave the Pentagon "information and documents on a thumb drive" about the RT event.

Flynn also briefed the Pentagon before and after the Moscow visit, he said.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters