Press Releases

Committee Ranking Members to Chairmen: Investigate Flynn and Trump’s Ties to Russia

f t # e
Washington, DC, February 15, 2017 | comments

In a letter to Chairman Hensarling, Subcommittee Chairman Pearce, Subcommittee Chairman Barr, Subcommittee Chairman Huzienga, Subcommittee Chairman Luetkemeyer, Subcommittee Chairman Duffy, and Subcommittee Chairman Wager, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, Congressman Daniel Kildee (D-MI), Vice Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, & Investment, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, demanded that the Committee begin an immediate investigation to understand the nature of the communications between former U.S. National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The lawmakers urged their Republican colleagues to investigate whether President Trump and other senior officials may have learned about the communications, and the extent to which they may have been involved in the inappropriate interactions with Russia. The letter comes on the heels of revelations that President Trump was informed weeks ago by the former acting U.S. Attorney General that General Flynn had misled U.S. officials about his calls with the Russian Ambassador. Recent reports indicate President Trump took action to dismiss General Flynn only after it was made public that he had known about General Flynn’s interactions with Russia.

The full text of the letter is below:


February 15, 2017


Honorable Jeb Hensarling                                           Honorable Stevan Pearce
Chairman                                                                        Chairman
Committee on Financial Services                              Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance
2129 Rayburn House Office Building                        2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                              Washington, D.C. 20515

Honorable Andy Barr                                                      Honorable Ann Wagner
Chairman                                                                         Chairman
Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade           Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
2129 Rayburn House Office Building                          2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                Washington, D.C. 20515

Honorable Bill Huizenga                                                Honorable Blaine Luetkemeyer
Chairman                                                                          Chairman
Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities          Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and
and Investments                                                              Consumer Credit
2129 Rayburn House Office Building                          2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                Washington, D.C. 20515

Honorable Sean P. Duffy
Chairman
Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance
2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Chairmen Hensarling, Huizenga, Luetkemeyer, Duffy, Barr, Wagner and Pearce:

On February 13, 2017, U.S. National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigned, effective immediately, from his position. Press reports indicate that he lied to the FBI with respect to conversations he had regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia late last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and the U.S. Justice Department had informed President Trump and other White House officials that this made General Flynn “vulnerable to Russian blackmail” weeks ago.

Just last week, our Members affirmed our bipartisan commitment to monitor the Administration’s implementation of sanctions and hold those targeted for sanctions accountable. Indeed, this Committee’s Oversight Plan makes clear that the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee will monitor the implementation of financial sanctions, as well as any proposals to expand such sanctions or impose new ones. Similarly, the Committee affirmed that the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance will monitor the activities of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers and enforces economic sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives against targeted foreign countries, including Russia.

In light of the revelations regarding General Flynn’s communications with Russia, we urge the Committee to begin an immediate investigation to understand the nature of these communications, and in particular, when President Trump and other senior officials may have learned about the communications, and the extent to which they may have been involved.

The timing of General Flynn’s resignation is highly suspicious and raises doubts about whether Americans can trust this Administration. If the President did in fact request General Flynn’s resignation due to a supposed erosion of trust, as White House spokesperson Sean Spicer claims, why did the President wait weeks to make the decision, and why was General Flynn allowed to continue to have access to classified information?

Contrary to the White House statements, General Flynn’s resignation appears to be in direct response to the press reports in which it was revealed that in late January, former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates informed the White House that General Flynn had misled U.S. officials about his calls with the Russian Ambassador. As has been revealed in the press, General Flynn discussed lifting U.S. sanctions against Moscow with Kislyak on December 29, 2016. Not coincidentally, December 29th was the same day that former President Obama issued the sanctions in response to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.
The only “erosion of trust” that has occurred is that between the American public and this President and Vice President. The Trump Administration ignored the Department of Justice’s warnings, and chose to remain silent until recent press reports exposed to the public that the Administration was well aware of General Flynn’s conduct late last month.

Indeed, given that U.S. intelligence confirmed the involvement of Russia in the Presidential election, we are deeply concerned the previously undisclosed communications General Flynn had with Russia indicate a potential quid pro quo arrangement whereby he made commitments on behalf of the Trump Administration to lift sanctions imposed by former President Obama, either in turn for interfering in the election or for some other potential benefit.

The conduct engaged in by the former National Security Advisor is another example of why this Administration must be held to account for its actions. Americans had substantial concerns about Trump’s ties to Russia, and this most recent event only serves to validate them.

For these reasons, we request this Committee begin an immediate investigation into General Flynn’s ties to Russia, including any commitments made regarding the Trump Administration’s sanctions policy towards the Kremlin and whether the President or other officials authorized General Flynn’s communications with the Russian government.



Sincerely,

Maxine Waters
RANKING MEMBER

Dan Kildee
VICE RANKING MEMBER

Gwen Moore
RANKING MEMBER

Al Green
RANKING MEMBER

Ed Perlmutter
RANKING MEMBER

Wm. Lacy Clay
RANKING MEMBER

Carolyn Maloney
RANKING MEMBER

Emanuel Cleaver
RANKING MEMBER

###

f t # e



Subscribe for Updates

Twitter Feed