Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says there will be no investigation of Michael Flynn, that there is “no need to investigate Flynn.” According to Chaffetz, talking to reporters,
“I think that situation has taken care of itself. I know that the Intel committee is looking into the hacking issue.”
“I think he did the right thing stepping down.”
Chaffetz who, like Trump, is more interested in leaks, went on to explain that,
“It really is the purview of the Intel Committee. They really are the only ones that can look at that type of information, particularly when you’re talking about interactions with a nation-state like that. It’s not something the Oversight Committee can actually look at because sources and methods are the exclusive purview of the Intel Committee.”
Certainly, Chaffetz was well aware that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has no intention of investigating Flynn, because “executive privilege.” Music to Donald Trump’s ears. What Nunes had to say was a far less critical “I want to hear from the FBI as to how this got out.”
That’s not helpful, of course, but it’s typical of a notable lack of enthusiasm among many Republicans to pursue a real scandal with the same vigor they once supported the fake Clinton Benghazi scandal.
Intel Committee Vice Chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said in a statement today that the need for an investigation is more urgent than ever:
My statement on Gen. Flynn's resignation: pic.twitter.com/26C5BZqhjX
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) February 14, 2017
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) released the following statement today regarding the resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor:
“Michael Flynn’s resignation is only a chapter in this story, not the end. His ties with Russia remain an ongoing concern. He cannot be a sacrificial lamb for an administration that has already displayed a troubling closeness with the Kremlin. We must continue the investigation into Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador. The safety and security of Americans depends on it.”
Warner and Thompson are not alone. Democratic Sen. John Tester has said that Flynn’s resignation “may be the tip of the iceberg.” If so, this is certainly something we must know and it isn’t as though Trump is going to volunteer the information after weeks of pretending Flynn was innocent, even after being informed otherwise by acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
You know, before Trump accused her of betrayal.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called for an investigation to determine who else on Trump’s team might have had contact with Vladimir Putin and Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) want a classified briefing on Flynn. In a joint statement, the two Democrats said,
“Now, we in Congress need to know who authorized his actions, permitted them, and continued to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information despite knowing these risks. We need to know who else within the White House is a current and ongoing risk to our national security.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) also called for an investigation, tweeting,
The only thing Flynn's resignation proves is the need for an independent investigation of the Trump camp's dealings with Russia. Now.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) February 14, 2017
While Republicans are generally not eager to investigate Trump, Sen. John Thune did express concern and said the White House had serious questions to answer in the wake of Flynn’s resignation. He did not explain how he hoped to obtain those answers without an investigation, however. Somewhat unrealistically, Thune claimed the White House should address any questions we have, something that will clearly not happen without an investigation.
And while falling short of calling for an investigation, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain said today that “General Flynn’s resignation is a troubling indication of the dysfunction of the current national security apparatus” and “raises further questions about the Trump administration’s intentions toward Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”
However, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told KTRS radio:
“I think everybody needs that investigation to happen. And the Senate Intelligence Committee, again that I serve on, has been given the principle responsibility to look into this, and I think that we should look into it exhaustively so that at the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned, and shouldn’t reach conclusions before you have the information that you need to have to make those conclusions.”
Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein makes the point that “The GOPers calling for Flynn investigation are mostly in the Senate and not up for re-election” and cites these important dates: Graham, 2020, McCain, 2022, and Blunt, 2022.
Time will tell what investigations, if any, are forthcoming. It is enough to know now that Republicans have revealed that they really didn’t care about Hillary Clinton’s emails or even Benghazi. It is all politics, as the complete indiffernce shown by many of them to Flynn’s very real treason demonstrates.