Wednesday, Reps. Adam Smith, Elijah E. Cummings, John Conyers, Jr., Eliot L. Engel, Bennie G. Thompson, and Adam Schiff, Ranking Members of the House Committees on Armed Services, Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and Intelligence, sent a letter to White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, II raising grave concerns and requesting information about reports that Department of Justice officials warned him three weeks ago that Lt. General Michael Flynn made false statements about his communications with the Russian Ambassador and that he was potentially susceptible to blackmail by the Russian government.
“These reports raise more than ‘trust’ issues – they also raise significant national security concerns,” the Members wrote. “Even in the face of strong warnings and evidence that he was vulnerable to being blackmailed, the White House appears to have considered General Flynn fit to continue serving as the National Security Advisor. General Flynn continued to receive the nation’s most sensitive and classified information, without any apparent change to accommodate these national security concerns.”
“It is unclear if the White House would have made any changes or shared any of this information with the public if it had not been revealed publicly in the press,” the letter read. “Over the weekend, the President and the White House remained silent in the face of increasingly vocal calls for more information. As late as 5 p.m. on Monday, Ms. [Kellyanne] Conway told the press that General Flynn had the ‘full confidence of the President.'”
The Members requested information from McGahn by February 28, 2017, including when he was first notified about General Flynn’s December 2016 discussions with the Russian Ambassador, who he told about these warnings, what steps were taken to correct the inaccurate statements, and who, if anyone, directed Flynn to conduct these discussions.
In addition, they asked how many classified intelligence briefings involving Russia General Flynn attended as the National Security Advisor and what steps were taken to suspend, isolate or otherwise minimize his access to classified information or policy discussions related to Russia after this issue came to light. They also asked if General Flynn reported that he had been interviewed by the FBI, and whether any other White House officials had been interviewed.
Click here to read the letter.