Dem senators call for independent Flynn probe

Dem senators call for independent Flynn probe
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Nearly a dozen Democratic senators are calling for an independent special counsel to investigate communications between President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

The 11 senators sent a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE saying that "an independent investigation is now necessary to determine what General Flynn did, who knew about it and when."

“We are deeply concerned about credible allegations that the Trump campaign, transition team, and Administration has colluded with the Russian government, including most recently the events leading to the resignation of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser,” they wrote in the letter released Wednesday.

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“To maintain the confidence, credibility and impartiality of the Department of Justice, we urge you to immediately appoint an independent Special Counsel to investigate collusion with the Russian government by General Flynn and other Trump campaign, transition and Administrative officials.”

Wednesday’s letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (N.M.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote MORE (Wis.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperLobbying World Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder MORE (Del.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyUS must act as journalists continue to be jailed in record numbers Warren proposes 'Blue New Deal' to protect oceans There's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down MORE (Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (Ore.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' Trump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field On The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday MORE (Ohio), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial MORE (Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyHorowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Horowitz: 'We found no bias' in decision to open probe Horowitz: 'Very concerned' about FBI leaks to Giuliani MORE (Vt.).

The group added that “absent swift action by a Special Counsel, evidence of this troubling conduct will be a high risk of concealment.”

“At stake is the integrity and honesty of our most trusted public officials and the viability of our justice system,” they wrote.

Flynn resigned late Monday amid reports he misled senior White House officials about a series of phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December.

The retired Army lieutenant general said in a letter on his resignation Monday that he “inadvertently” gave “incomplete information” to Vice President Pence and others about his discussions with Kislyak.

Flynn's resignation followed reports last week that, despite denials, he and the Russian envoy spoke about U.S. sanctions against Russia before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation once the president’s trust in his adviser "eroded."

Reports emerged later Tuesday that several aides and allies to Trump’s 2016 bid repeatedly conversed with senior Russian intelligence officials, according to intercepted phone calls and phone records.

Current and former U.S. officials told The New York Times they had seen no evidence of collusion in regards to hacking or the 2016 race, or if the talks centered on Trump himself.