Dems call on Gowdy to investigate Flynn paper trail

Dems call on Gowdy to investigate Flynn paper trail
© Greg Nash

Several Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation Sunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday, urging him to subpoena the White House for documents related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The 10-page letter obtained by Politico urges Gowdy to investigate whether Flynn "changed the course of our national security" in order to promote his own private financial interests.

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“We believe that this paper trail must be pursued to answer the gravest questions of all — did General Flynn seek to change the course of our country’s national security to benefit the same private interests he previously promoted?” reads the letter penned by the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsRep. Cummings: Will Kavanaugh take lie detector test and ask for FBI investigation? Graham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests MORE (Md.). 

The letter goes on to accuse the Trump administration of "grave" breaches of the public trust.

“[T]he White House has been openly defying this Committee’s bipartisan request for documents regarding General Flynn for months without any assertion of privilege of any kind,” Cummings wrote.

“Your decisions on this investigation will have a profound impact on the faith that the American people have in Congress to fulfill our duty under the Constitution to exercise robust oversight of the Executive Branch,” the letter continues, “especially when grave violations of the public trust are at stake.”

Flynn was ousted from the White House in February after news reports revealed he misled senior administration officials over the extent of his conversations with Russia.

In a statement to The Hill, Cummings urged Republicans to hold the Trump administration accountable.

"It is our job under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the White House and the Executive Branch, so Chairman Gowdy should either help us get these documents or stand aside and allow us to vote on motions for subpoenas," Cummings said.

"I urge my Republican colleagues not to contribute to a culture where the President is not accountable to anyone,” he said.

A spokesman for the committee's Republicans cautioned, however, that any "alleged criminal actions" would fall instead under the jurisdiction of Robert Mueller and the Justice Department's special counsel office.

“Any alleged criminal or quasi criminal actions fall under the jurisdiction of Special Counsel Mueller. The Committee will not do anything to interfere with the Special Counsel’s probe,” the aide told Politico. 

--This report was updated at 2:25 p.m.