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The U.S. Army is planning to take new action against retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency chief who joined then-President Donald Trump’s administration for a brief stint as the national security adviser.
According to the Just the News, the Pentagon recently notified Flynn that it is planning to recoup from him nearly $40,000 that he was paid for attending and speaking at a 2015 dinner in Moscow, claiming that he did not receive approval for the speaking fee in advance, and as such, he violated the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
However, the outlet noted, documents obtained by former special counsel Robert Mueller provide a far different account of what happened:
The documents, reviewed by Just the News, show Flynn in fact alerted his former agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, ahead of the dinner and got approval to use the trip to spy on Russia’s leadership and specifically its GRU military intelligence unit.
The operation was blessed in advance by senior DIA officials, including Vincent Stewart, the Marine general who had succeeded Flynn as DIA chief. The former Trump administration national security adviser was even given tasking orders and a counterintelligence briefing before he departed for Moscow in December 2015.
“The first week of December 2015, General Flynn asked if I was still in the European Center and told me he planned on traveling to Moscow to speak at an RT event and might meet the Director of the GRU,” said former senior DIA executive David Becker in a sworn statement that was given during the Mueller probe but was never released to the public.
“We discussed potential topics of interest for the US intelligence community,” Becker noted in his statement. “I told him I would arrange a briefing for him to include a Counterintelligence briefing before he departed to Moscow. We agreed that I would call him once it was arranged at DIA HQ.
“I next contacted my supervisor the Director of the Europe Eurasia Regional Center John Sadler, to begin the process. Mr. Sadler immediately contacted the Director of DIA LTG Stewart by email requesting permission to develop this briefing for [LTG] Flynn,” he continued.
Stewart would go on to approve the operation and told Flynn what American intelligence agencies wanted as “current collection requirements for Russia.” In addition, he called for a defensive briefing for Flynn to help prepare him how not to get tripped up by the Russians while attending the dinner, according to Becker’s affidavit.
The intelligence community was so elated by the opportunity Flynn presented that no fewer than 10 experts were sent to provide him with a briefing on everything from what the U.S. government wanted to know about “the Senior Leadership of Russia” to “important collection points of the GRU,” the documents show.
In addition, they gave Flynn a “complete briefing on the intelligence potentially directed against him” when he was with the Russians.
Becker also noted that when Flynn returned from the trip he immediately contacted the DIA.
“DIA sent collectors to his office to pull all the information he was able to collect while on his trip,” the former agency executive wrote.
The retired general “turned over all contact information he obtained on his trip and provided all the information he was sensitized to look for during the initial meeting, including providing a thumb drive of pictures and other information,” the affidavit revealed.
Flynn sat among and gathered information from some of the top players in Russia, including Vladimir Putin (whom he sat next to), his chief of staff Sergey Ivanov, his deputy chief of staff Alexei Gromov and chief Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, according to information reviewed by Just the News.
Becker’s detailed description confirms source reporting this journalist first published when he was a columnist at The Hill in 2019. It also significantly calls into question the reporting of numerous major news organizations that portrayed Flynn’s visit with RT as a national security threat and betrayal of his country for money.
Just the News noted further that in February 2017, around the time Flynn was accused of lying to the FBI and resigned from the administration, that media reports suggesting that he had somehow done something wrong. But in fact, his trip was well-known, approved, and utilized as an espionage mission in its own right.
And though Trump pardoned Flynn in November 2020 after the former national security adviser withdrew his guilty plea when he discovered that he’d been set up by the FBI, the Defense Dept. continued to investigate the RT dinner, concluding he had not sought Army permission even though it was cleared by the DIA.
“Last week, the Army’s Office of the General Counsel sent Flynn a letter revealing the DOD planned to seek collection of more than $38,000,” Just the News reported.
“The Army has determined that in December 2015 you failed to obtain the necessary approval in accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 600-29 before accepting compensation from an entity substantially owned or controlled by a foreign government in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution,” said the letter to Flynn, making no mention of his preclearance from the DIA.