Rand Paul: Flynn probe would be ‘excessive’

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says there’s not much need for Congress to investigate former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s talks with Russia, warning it would distract from the GOP’s agenda.
“That might be excessive. I think it looks like the president has handled the situation, and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics, and it looks like the president’s handled it,” Paul told Fox News on Tuesday. 
“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he said.

“We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing ObamaCare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

{mosads}Flynn resigned on Monday night amid backlash about reports that he spoke with the Russian Embassy before the President Trump’s inauguration about sanctions targeting Moscow. The Washington Post reported Monday that White House counsel had been warned that Flynn had misled members of the administration and the public about his communications with the Russian ambassador. 

Paul’s comments are a break with top Senate Republicans who signaled on Tuesday that they expect the Senate Intelligence Committee will likely look into Flynn’s calls as part of its ongoing investigation about Russia’s involvement in the White House race. Paul is on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noted that the Intelligence Committee has “broad jurisdiction” on its investigation and said it’s “highly likely” the panel would want to probe the incident.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said it was “likely” that Flynn would be called before the Intelligence Committee. 
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) separately told reporters that he supports the Senate committees investigating Flynn but downplayed the need for an independent probe. 
“We have standing committees that have all the appropriate clearances that can do an investigation,” he said. 
Democrats are doubling own on their push for a special committee or independent commission to be formed to probe Flynn as well as broader ties between the Trump team and Russia. 
Flynn wrote in his resignation letter that he “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador” because of the “fast pace of events.”
Tags John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Rand Paul Roy Blunt
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