World

Flynn made $1.3M US from lobbying, speeches to Russian companies

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has disclosed that he earned more than $1.3 million US for work for political groups and government contractors, as well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by a Turkish businessman.

Former Trump adviser's consulting firm filed as foreign agent last month with Justice Department

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's recent financial history was made available Saturday by the White House, as Flynn seeks immunity in exchange for his co-operation with official inquiries into contacts between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has disclosed that he earned more than $1.3 million US for work for political groups and government contractors, as well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by a Turkish businessman.

Flynn's recent financial history, made available Saturday by the White House, comes amid Flynn's effort to win immunity from congressional probers in exchange for his co-operation with official inquiries into contacts between Russia and Trump's election campaign in 2016.

The new disclosures show that Flynn declared more than $827,000 from his work for the Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm that he and partners set up in 2015. The company filed as a foreign agent last month with the Justice Department, acknowledging that its lobbying work last year likely benefited the government of Turkey, even as Flynn was advising Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The disclosures details Flynn's financial activities dating back to 2014, including Flynn's 2015 work for Russia's state-supported television network and speeches to two other Russian companies. Flynn has been interviewed by the FBI, which has been investigating allegations of contacts last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials and surrogates.

Flynn, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in December 2015. Flynn has been interviewed by the FBI in their probe on alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and surrogates. (Associated Press)

The White House released two filings for Flynn on Saturday. One was filed while he was still in the administration. The other was filed Friday, more than a month after Trump fired Flynn as national security adviser. Trump has said he asked Flynn to step down because he misled the vice-president about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.

Flynn attorney Robert Kelner said that Flynn's first filing was a draft that normally would have been revised through a consultation between the White House counsel's office and the Office of Government Ethics.

"Because he resigned, that usual consultation process was suspended. When the White House contacted him this week, and asked him to complete the process, he did so," Kelner said.

The White House on Friday began releasing scores of disclosures from Trump administration officials.

'Principally benefited the Republic of Turkey'

Flynn declared last month in a filing with the Justice Department that his company's lobbying for a Dutch-based firm owned by a Turkish businessman "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." Flynn's client, Ekim Alptekin, told The Associated Press that the decision to file as a foreign agent had come under pressure from Justice Department officials.

The Daily Caller reported Friday that Justice officials contacted Flynn on Nov. 30. A document obtained by the media site under the Freedom of Information Act quoted Justice Department concern about a pre-election op-ed that Flynn authored stressing Turkish government aims and "potential ties between Lt. Gen. Flynn and others who might be acting on behalf of the government of Turkey."

Flynn reported assets worth between $1.2 million and $2.4 million during the last year. He also reported that he served as a consultant for the FBI and received more than $5,000 in compensation from the bureau. Kelner said the FBI compensation was for a speaking event in 2015 and training Flynn provided to the bureau.

Flynn reported between $750,000 and $1.5 million in mortgage debt related to his personal home and a rental property. He also had a line of credit between $15,000 and $50,000, the filing shows.

In a separate filing to the Justice Department last month, Flynn and his business detailed $530,000 worth of lobbying work for Inovo BV, the Turkish firm owned by Alptekin. On his new disclosure, Flynn said only that he personally earned compensation in excess of $5,000 from Inovo BV.

Flynn's ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Both committees are looking into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

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