Steele has confirmed in a court filing earlier this month that he handed a memorandum compiled in December to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity” of a connection between Trump and Russia.
The court papers say Steele decided to pass on the information he had collected because it was “of considerable importance in relation to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election”, that it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK” and “needed to [be] analysed and further investigated/verified”.
The December memo alleged that four Trump representatives traveled to Prague in August or September in 2016 for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers”, about how to pay hackers secretly for penetrating Democratic party computer systems and “contingency plans for covering up operations”.
Between March and September, the December memo alleges, the hackers used botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data online from Democratic party leadership. Two of the hackers had been “recruited under duress by the FSB” the memo said. The hackers were paid by the Trump organisation, but were under the control of Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration.
It has now come to light that Flynn was paid about $33,000 by Russia’s state-owned news agency, Russia Today, for a speech he gave in Moscow in 2015, but he did not disclose the payment on his security clearance application in January 2016, according to the House oversight committee. However recent information has come to light that Flynn collected nearly $68,000 in fees and expenses from Russia-related entities in 2015, a higher amount than was previously known.
The newly released documents show that Flynn was also paid $11,250 that year by the U.S. subsidiary of a Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, and another $11,250 by a U.S. air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group, which is owned by a Russian businessman. The cyberfirm and the airline said the payments were made for speeches Flynn delivered in Washington.
The new disclosures come as Flynn’s interactions with Russia have been under scrutiny. Flynn resigned 24 days after taking office amid reports that he misled Vice President Pence about the nature of his contacts in December with the Russian ambassador.
Michael Flynn is Donald Trump’s “favorite general.” Politico wrote that Flynn “shaped some of Trump’s views, including disdain for the recent nuclear agreement with Iran and calls for a far more aggressive strategy to confront Islamic extremism at home and abroad.”
In February of 2017 Trump described Flynn as “a wonderful man” and somebody who had been “treated very, very, unfairly by the media.”
The House Oversight Committee has announced that there is “No evidence that Flynn complied with law.” In an effort to gain more information, the Oversight Committee has requested documents from the White House. The White House has refused to comply.
“I honestly do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said at a joint appearance with other Democrats criticizing President Trump’s first 100 days in office.
“It makes the American people think the White House has something to hide. There is obviously a paper trail that the White House does not want our committee to follow.”
It has now been revealed that Michael Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement, according to new documents obtained by the House oversight committee.