The Defense Department’s internal watchdog has concluded a long-delayed investigation into Michael Flynn, defense officials said Friday, sending its findings to the Army in a case that could bring tens of thousands of dollars in financial penalties for President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.
The investigation focuses on Flynn’s acceptance of money from Russian and Turkish interests before joining the Trump administration, a potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. With few exceptions, U.S. officials, including retired service members like Flynn, are prohibited from accepting money or gifts from foreign governments. Flynn retired from the Army as a three-star general in 2014.
The inspector general’s investigation, opened in April 2017, was put on hold for more than three years amid a broader scandal that included a criminal investigation of Flynn by the Justice Department — part of what would become the investigation of Trump’s first presidential campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election led by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.