Congressman Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district, began today’s press conference with a single, pointed question:
“Do you hear that?” he asked.
“Do you hear the silence? This is the sound of House Republicans conducting no oversight of President Trump. Zero. That’s what it sounds like when they abdicate their duty under the constitution. We’ve been asking for months for basic oversight of the President … with his ties to Russia.” said Congressman Cummings.
Democratic House leaders held a press conference today following the resignation of Pres. Donald J. Trump‘s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn amid allegations he misled pre-inauguration communications with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, while building on a string of investigations that are underway regarding Russian interference in the US elections.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “highly likely” Flynn will be investigated and Sen. John Cornyn told reporters that the Senate the investigation, that he believes, ought to be done in part through the Intelligence Committee.
“This begs a lot of questions between Flynn and the Russian ambassador,” said Sen. Cornyn.
Sen. Cornyn wanted to know:
Were these sanctioned by the president himself or others in the administration?
According to Congressman Cummings, Flynn flew to Moscow to have a lavish dinner with President Putin celebrate the Kremlin-backed-media-outlet, RT.
U.S. Intelligence-backed officials, claim that the Kremlin’s principle, international propaganda outlet.
Flynn admits he got paid for that trip but he refuses to say how much he was paid.
He may have violated the constitution in the process.
The retired officer knows he cannot accept payment.
Congressman Cummings said Flynn was “secretly communicating with Russian officials at the same time Russia was attacking our democracy. Let me say that again. Russia was secretly communicating with Russian officials.”
Flynn may have violated the Logan Act, by discussing the sanctions imposed by the United States in response to Russia’s attacks. The Logan Act is a federal law that bars private citizens from interfering with diplomatic relations between the United States and foreign governments.
Violating this is a felony punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to three years.
This happens when an American citizen, without government authorization, interacts “with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”
Congressman Cummings asked:
- What did the president know and when did he know it?
- Was the president aware of Flynn’s efforts?
- Did he support them?
- Why did Flynn continue to sit in on the most sensitive classified meetings until just two days ago?
- Who at the White House did nothing for three weeks why Flynn sat in on meeting after meeting after meeting?
- Did the president decide this?
- Did council decide to wait?
“Something is wrong here,” said Congressman Cummings.
“All of this merits investigation,” said Sen. Cornyn. “These questions are far too important to go unanswered … I think the President owes the American people an explanation. He ought to do that directly and not through assembling aids.”
This morning Flynn tweeted, “Scapegoat.”
“We’re not making accusations. We’re just trying to find answers to these vexing problems,” said Sen. Conyers.