Every House Democrat that is a member of the Committee for Oversight of Government Affairs just signed a letter addressed to Republican Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz with a simple message: Lead an investigation of disgraced former Gen. Michael Flynn or get out of the way.
“Today, all Democratic Members of the Committee write to you jointly to request that you either reconsider your decision and initiate this investigation, or step aside and allow the Committee to vote on conducting basic oversight going forward.”
Just this week, Republicans broke down and agreed to start an ethics investigation against White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, who herself was counseled after pitching Ivanka’s failing clothing line on Fox News like she was on QVC. House Democrats noted their GOP counterparts willingness to investigate a fashion matter acidly in their letter demanding an immdiate Flynn investigation:
General Flynn’s potential violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal law are far more grave, and they certainly deserve to be investigated by this Committee mmore urgently than the President’s daughter’s clothing line.
Democratic representatives have sent no less than six letters to the Republicans overseeing the Oversight Committee since last August, virtually begging them to investigate Flynn’s in your face lawlessness.
Instead, Rep. Chaffetz, the GOP Chair of the House Oversight Committee released a work agenda that completely omitted his party’s occupant of the Executive Branch or any of Trump’s minions. Democrats responded today:
We cited multiple instances that raise grave questions about General Flynn’s fitness to serve as National Security Advisor and continue having access to classified information, including taking payments to dine with Vladmir Putin and celebrate Russia’s propaganda outlet; potentially failing to obtain the consent of Congress to accept those funds in violation of the Constitution; communicating repeatedly with Russian officials while Russia was attacking our presidential election; secretly discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador in possible violation of the Logan Act; and potentially lying about these discussions to White House colleagues and the American people.
You can read the rest of the detailed six-page letter released yesterday by the Democratic Congressmen below, which includes a serious allegation against Flynn for representing the Turkish government during this year’s elections, without registering as strictly required under federal law.
The Democratic Coalition reported Gen. Flynn to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Mary McCord, last Friday afternoon for failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), because he signed a contract in September 2015 with a Turkish company, advocating that country’s interests, even including publishing an op-ed in The Hill advancing Turkish President Erdogan’s views on extraditing a political foe on election night.
General Flynn’s sudden resignation after only 24 days in office is not going to end the possible criminal investigations into his behavior either, it’s only going to intensify them.
Judging by the kind of information being shared with the media by law enforcement officers, it’s highly likely that a FISA Warrant – the secret national security surveillance permission to spy – has been issued to look into Flynn’s dealings with foreign countries.
Before departing service to the White House, Trump could’ve fought any attempt to place General Flynn under oath vigorously, prolonging any investigation by months, years or even indefinitely. Now that Michael Flynn is no longer part of the Trump Administration, he loses the Executive Privilege and can be hauled into Congress to testify under oath, or into a court of law as well.
Mainstream reporters are starting to ask the central questions of Watergate in relation to Flynn’s revelations about Russian sanctions talks while acting as part of the transition team:
Did the President know? If so, when did he find out?
The answers could bring a very rapid conclusion to the nightmarish Trump regime, because there’s no successful, possible response.
If Trump knew about Flynn’s calls to the Russian Ambassador, then he was likely seeking to fulfill the dictates of Putin’s blackmail scheme, per the British intelligence dossier, to drop Obama’s sanctions against key companies like state oil giant Roseneft.
If Trump really was totally clueless and had a very high-level independent operator in his Presidential Transition team and atop the National Security Council freelancing away, it demonstrates in the worst way how The Donald’s “best people” will sink America’s national security. Politically, it will throw the question about Trump’s continued fitness to serve back to his own party’s Congresspeople, when the American people ask why they should risk a massive terror attack or war with a President who chose a fake news spreading, compromised nutjob to make decisions about war and peace.
Private litigants have already filed suit over Trump’s alleged Constitutional violations, Congress could far more easily remove him from office for the same reasons.
Considering the closeness – one might say lockstep – of Flynn and Trump’s anti-Islam, pro-Putin foreign policies, it seems unlikely that the former General was freelancing on such a large volume of communications with Russia.
Hopefully, House Republicans finally do their jobs and start investigating even the members of their very own party, the ones who violate federal law and skirt the lines between treason and espionage while mismanaging national security matters at the highest levels of our federal government.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition