Top Senate Homeland Security Dem calls for select committee to investigate Russia influence in US politics

Top Senate Homeland Security Dem calls for select committee to investigate Russia influence in US politics

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillPolling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Overnight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices MORE (D-Mo.) is calling for a select committee to investigate the Kremlin’s role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump administration.

McCaskill said in a statement on Tuesday that former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s abrupt resignation on Monday reaffirmed the need for a special committee, and urged Senate Republicans to back the proposal.

“My Republican colleagues are good people and I know many of them share the American public’s concerns about a foreign government secretly interfering with and influencing U.S. policy,” said McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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“Given Michael Flynn’s communication with Russian officials and his subsequent resignation, it’s time we come together to investigate this matter in a thorough, public, and responsible way.”

Flynn resigned from his post on Monday amid revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the country’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

The former national security adviser reportedly spoke to Kislyak several times before President Trump took office in January, including once on Dec. 29, the same day that the U.S. issued new sanctions against Russia for trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

In a letter to FBI Director James Comey on Friday, McCaskill requested that the agency brief her committee on Flynn’s contacts with Russia.

"Given the significant implications that any such communications may have had for the nation’s homeland and national security, I request that you provide a closed briefing for the Committee as soon as possible regarding the scope and status of any current FBI investigation related to General Flynn’s contacts with the Russian government,” the letter says.

Some Senate Republicans, such as John McCainJohn Sidney McCainObama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamQuestions mount over Trump-Putin discussions The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria MORE (S.C.), have voiced their support for creating a select committee to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Hillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans On The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal MORE (R-Ky.) has rejected such proposals, saying that the Senate’s existing committee could handle such an investigation.