Top Financial Services Dems: Investigate Flynn

Top Financial Services Dems: Investigate Flynn
© Greg Nash

Top Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee are calling on their Republican colleagues to investigate national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the panel's ranking member, said the full committee should probe Flynn’s ties to Russia and whether Flynn promised to help roll back sanctions on Russia during the December phone call that led to his firing.

“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,” wrote Waters in a Wednesday letter to committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and the chairmen of the panel’s subcommittees. “The Americans had substantial concerns about Trump’s ties to Russia, and this most recent event only serves to validate them.”

Waters letter was cosigned by the top Democrats on the panel’s subcommittees.

Flynn was fired by President Trump this week after misleading White House officials, including Vice President Pence, about calls he made to Russia’s ambassador to the United States prior to Trump's inauguration. Lawmakers from both parties and chambers have called for various committees, probes and briefings to investigate Flynn’s relationship with Russia.

The Financial Services Committee has some oversight jurisdiction over the implementation of United States financial sanctions and efforts to stop terrorism financing. Waters said the committee’s purview in those fields is relevant to investigating Flynn’s calls to Russia.

“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,” wrote Waters.

Flynn told the FBI that he didn’t discuss sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, contradicting evidence gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies, according to The Washington Post.