Schumer demands full investigation of Flynn-Trump-Russia connections

Geneva Matthews
February 16, 2017

Democrats held what they called an "emergency" caucus meeting Wednesday to discuss former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation following revelations he discussed sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

Flynn is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general. What was the extent of his conversations and contact with Russian Federation? Later that day, the New York Times reported that intercepted phone calls revealed that Trump's associates and campaign staffers had repeatedly communicated with senior Russian intelligence officials in 2016.

Debate over Sessions' role in forthcoming investigations was anticipated by Democratic senators during Sessions' confirmation last month, during which Senator Dianne Feinstein of California noted the close working relationship Sessions would have with Flynn upon his confirmation as Attorney General, and asked if he would recuse himself from an investigation. "They must be answered truthfully by administration officials, and any attempt to lie or mislead must be countered with the full force of the law", Schumer said.

"I think there are a number of unanswered questions that need to be answered about the documents about whether there was a FISA order. Every one of these questions should be applied to all them as well".

Schumer said he also supports congressional investigations into issues related to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. political system during the presidential election. "And yet they let him stay on for weeks present at and participating in the highest level of national security discussions until those reports were made public".

Schumer insisted that a probe must be carried out by longtime professional law enforcers, and that Trump's new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, must recuse himself because he was a part of Trump's campaign and sat on Trump's national security advisory panel with Flynn. Are there people in the Justice Department, career people, who could do an independent investigation?

Schumer said Senate involvement in the Flynn probe would include but not be limited to the Select Committee on Intelligence. "Department of Justice regulations specifically prohibit individuals with political ties to the subjects of an investigation from leading that investigation", Schumer said. "Those prosecutors should not be reporting to the first senator who endorsed Donald Trump's campaign". We need a transparent investigation, and we need an impartial investigation.

Sessions indicated in his written responses to the Judiciary Committee that he may not be inclined to recuse himself from investigations involving Trump. The American people deserve a full investigation.

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