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 McCaskill'Kavanaugh' chants erupt at Trump rally in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Drug companies will love Trump's plan to get rid of drug rebates — the consumers will hate it 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 McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKim, Moon toss ball to Trump in ‘last, best chance’ for Korean peace GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Collins: Kavanaugh accuser should 'reconsider,' testify on Monday 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 McConnellGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP making counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins MORE (R-Ky.) has rejected such proposals, saying that the Senate’s existing committee could handle such an investigation.