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 McCaskillCalif. gov candidates battle for second place Senate panel advances Trump's CIA nominee Five votes to watch in fight over Trump's CIA nominee 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.

“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 McCainTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump will 'end North Korea’s threat to the American homeland' in his first term Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in after Texas school shooting Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays 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 McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE (R-Ky.) has rejected such proposals, saying that the Senate’s existing committee could handle such an investigation.