By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio
President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, who previously instigated chants of “Lock her up!” in reference to Hillary Clinton, previously shared classified information himself, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Retired Army Gen. Michael T. Flynn “shared United States classified information with various foreign military officers and/or officials in Afghanistan without proper authorization,” documents on the investigation read.
Over the summer, at the Republican National Convention (RNC), Flynn accused Clinton of putting “our nation’s security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private email server.” He called for her to drop out of the race and incited chants of “Lock her up!”
“If I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today,” Flynn said.
The investigation itself is still classified, so some details were not included in the documents obtained by The Washington Post. But people familiar with the investigation “said it centered on slides and other materials containing classified information about CIA operations in Afghanistan,” The Washington Post reported.
No action was taken against Flynn because the sharing of information, per the documents, “was not done knowingly.”
Flynn has a history of not following rules he disagrees with or considers “stupid,” according to a column on him in The New Yorker:
“He had technicians secretly install an Internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden. There was also the time he gave classified information to NATO allies without approval, an incident which prompted an investigation, and a warning from superiors.”
When asked about the information he shared with allies he said, “The investigation on me was for sharing intelligence with the Brits and Australians in combat, and I’m proud of that one. That was substantiated because actually I did it. But I did it with the right permissions when you dig into the investigation. I’m proud of that one. Accuse me of sharing intelligence in combat with our closest allies, please.”
And when questioned on why there was an investigation he said, “Because that’s what the government does.”
Flynn also shared sensitive information in early 2009 or 2010. He was verbally reprimanded for sharing secret information with Pakistani officials. The exposed information helped Pakistan protect one of its ally organizations.
Clinton was cleared of charges against her pertaining to classified emails that were found on her private email server.
In October FBI Director James Comey reported the discovery of new emails that were to be investigated. Several days later he announced that the discovery would, once again, not lead to charges against Clinton:
In a letter written to congressional committee chairmen Comey wrote:
“Since my [October 28] letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”
Comey faced considerable backlash for the revival of the investigation. The timing and nature of Comey’s announcement raised considerable questions, especially since the FBI did not yet know the nature of the emails at the time of his announcement.