Congressman Ruben Gallego said on Saturday that Michael Flynn, the former National Security advisor under Donald Trump, should lose his pension for violating the Emoluments Clause, which bans U.S. officials from receiving unauthorized payments from foreign nations.
“Just take his pension away and call it even. Traitors don’t get pensions from the government they try to overthrow,” tweeted Gallego, an Iraq War veteran and Democrat representing Arizona.
This comes after the Defense Department wrote to Flynn in May that it is seeking $38,557 from him, according to a report Friday in The Washington Post. The Army said in a letter that the retired lieutenant general may have violated the Emoluments Clause after investigators found that he received around $450,000 from Turkish and Russian interests without prior government approval, according to the paper.
The Emoluments Clause states: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Flynn received $33,750 after Russia Today transferred $45,386 to public speaking company Leading Authorities in December 2015, according to the Army letter. He was also reportedly paid $4,807 in compensation for his travel, hotel and visa costs in order to attend the Moscow event.
“When there is a finding that a military retiree has violated the Emoluments Clause, the United States Government may pursue a debt collection,” Army lawyer Craig Schmauder told Flynn, according to the Post.
However, Flynn criticized the Defense Department for trying to retrieve the money he got from Russia. The former Trump advisor, who was convicted of lying to the FBI about his connection with Russia before he was pardoned by the former president, said that the department is trying to “embarrass” him.
He told the far-right news website Real America’s Voice Network in May that the department doesn’t want him to come back “into government in any capacity.”
“It’s just another dig, another means to embarrass, another way that they want me to shut up. And I’m not about to, it’s not in my nature, I’m not designed that way,” said Flynn at the time. “And I will tell you that it actually stiffens my backbone even more.”
“They’re just going to reach into my retirement and they’re going to take some money out—it means something but at the end of the day, this country means a heck of a lot more,” he added.
Gallego has attacked Flynn before, including in May, when he criticized him for calling for “one religion” in the United States.
Newsweek reached out to Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, for comment.
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