Michael Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump during his campaign and briefly in his administration, is facing large legal bills as he continues to be caught up in the federal inquiry surrounding Russia and the 2016 elections.
“The enormous expense of attorneys’ fees and other related expenses far exceed their ability to pay,” Flynn's sister and brother said in a joint statement. "To help ensure that he can defend himself, we have set up a legal defense fund, and we are asking Mike’s supporters, veterans, and all people of goodwill to contribute whatever amount they can to this fund.”
In their announcement of the legal defense fund, the former general's siblings wrote that it would only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. "Any donations that are identified as originating with foreign nationals will be declined or refunded," the site's homepage said.
The fund website did not disclose, that prior to joining the administration, Flynn told the U.S. Office of Government Ethics that he had an income of over $1.3 million per year.
Flynn has been a target of federal investigators since before the election, after intelligence agencies discovered that he had failed to disclose lobbying work he had conducted for several foreign countries. Long a critic of his colleagues in the defense and foreign policy establishments, Flynn was fired from his post as national security adviser shortly after taking the job, when the Trump Administration discovered he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russian government officials.
The National Security Agency intercepted calls between Flynn discussing sanctions with Russia's ambassador before he had assumed his national security adviser office, a contradiction to Flynn's previous claims.
Congressional committees have been investigating Flynn's foreign dealings as well. Last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings said that Flynn engaged in so many high-level communications which he failed to disclose that it was unlikely Flynn did so accidentally.
“He has, over and over again, omitted information that he should have disclosed,” Cummings told ABC News. “It's not an aberration, and that's clear.