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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 Sessions 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.

{mosads}“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 Udall (N.M.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Tom Carper (Del.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Patrick Leahy (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.

Tags Democrats Department of Justice Dick Durbin DOJ Ed Markey Jeff Merkley Jeff Sessions National security Patrick Leahy Politics Richard Blumenthal Russia senators Sherrod Brown Tammy Baldwin Tom Carper Tom Udall

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