The Wall Street Journal reports: Several top Democratic members of Congress are asking the Defense Department to investigate whether retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, violated the Constitution when he accepted money from a Russian television network that U.S. intelligence officials say is part of a state-funded media apparatus.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the lawmakers said that since Mr. Flynn retired from the Army in 2014, he has appeared regularly on Russia Today, or RT, a state-sponsored television network. The letter also said that Mr. Flynn acknowledged he was paid to speak at a gala in Moscow celebrating RT’s 10th anniversary in December 2015. At the event, he dined alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The lawmakers said that Mr. Flynn may have violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits someone “holding any office of profit or trust” — meaning a public office or military position — from accepting gifts or payments from a foreign country.
“The Department of Defense has made clear that this restriction applies to retired military officers because they continue to hold offices of trust,” according to the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Flynn didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Flynn’s Russia trip and his media appearances have come under scrutiny before. But this is the first time that lawmakers have formally requested that the Pentagon investigate the RT payment and have suggested it may have been illegal. [Continue reading…]