RI Lawmakers Call For Investigation After Flynn Resignation

Feb 15, 2017

Rhode Island lawmakers reacted Tuesday to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security advisor. 

Rep. Jim Langevin has introduced a resolution that would launch a bipartisan committee investigation into the Trump Administration's ties to Russia, dating back to the presidential campaign.

“Our need to act is particularly urgent, given the recent revelations surrounding conversations between former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, and envoys from the Russian Federation, and the Administration’s subsequent refusal to address this issue, potentially for weeks,” said Langevin.

U.S. Congressman David Cicilline said the Flynn scandal raised questions about the reasons former acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, was fired.

“Was Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who followed her conscience and the law in declining to defend the President's unconstitutional travel ban, actually fired because she informed the White House that General Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail? ” asked Cicilline.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed took the Flynn resignation as a moment to discuss his objections to the restructuring of the National Security Council.

“I believe that they have to restore the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a permanent, full member of the National Security Council, and I think they should remove Mr. Bannon because they don’t need a political operative, they need experienced professionals,” said Reed.

In an earlier executive order, President Trump restructured the National Security Council giving his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a seat in the Principals Committee. The move raised concern over the nonpartisan nature of the council. 

Sen. Reed also expressed support for a deeper investigation into Flynn’s contact with Russian officials. Reed said Flynn’s departure emphasized the lack of organization in the Trump administration.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he’s written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that an independent prosecutor be appointed to investigate Flynn’s connection to Russia.

"A special investigator who can produce the information for the public to be assured that there has been an inquiry that is impartial, objective, comprehensive and thorough," Blumenthal said. "It has to be unflinching and unstinting and it should be done as soon as possible."