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 McCaskillMcCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government 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.

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“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 McCainMark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal Mark Kelly launches Senate bid in Arizona MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham seeks new Rosenstein testimony after explosive McCabe interview Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Graham demands testimony from former FBI acting Director McCabe 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 McConnellBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE (R-Ky.) has rejected such proposals, saying that the Senate’s existing committee could handle such an investigation.