Citing national security, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal calls for investigation of Trump's Russia ties
Saying "our national security is at stake," U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal is calling for an investigation into the Trump administration's ties to Russia.
In a statement Tuesday, the Springfield Democrat said revelations about now-former national security adviser Michael Flynn's "secret discussions" with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were "deeply troubling."
Flynn resigned Monday night amid reports that, prior to Trump's inauguration and before he served in any official government role, he discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak, a charge the Kremlin denies.
"Even more disturbing is today's disclosure that the Justice Department warned the White House about General Flynn's possibly illegal behavior and nothing was done about it," Neal said.
The sanctions in question were imposed by President Barack Obama's outgoing administration amid reports that the Russian government engaged in cyber attacks to help Trump win the 2016 election.
Neal said Russia's election meddling "was nothing less than a direct assault on our democracy by a foreign government."
"I believe the American people need to know the full extent of the relationship between the Trump administration and the Russian government," said Neal. "And President Trump must finally release his tax returns so the public can learn whether he has any financial or business interest with Russia."
For his part, Flynn said "there were no lines crossed" in his contacts with Kislyak. The White House said Trump asked for his resignation because misstatements he made to administration officials including Vice President Mike Pence eroded the president's trust.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it's "highly likely" the matter will be investigated by the Intelligence Committee.