Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) says the GOP hopes “to bury” revelations about President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
“We know it’s incredibly difficult to get information out of the Intelligence committees,” he said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “We’ve seen that through the torture report. They also really desire to bury any substantive discussion inside the Intelligence committees.
“And so if there is not a congressional investigation that is separate from the Intelligence committees, we won’t get the congressional side to do serious work. But we should also see a special prosecutor in terms of the executive branch.”
Merkley said the Trump administration cannot permanently avoid addressing Flynn’s phone calls before the inauguration with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Well, I think the mounting pressure from the media and the conversations on Capitol Hill are going to drive us forward,” he said.
“I don’t think that forever the administration can keep saying, ‘Don’t pay attention to the fire, look over here, we want to talk about some other issue, some other diversion.’ ”
Flynn resigned late Monday amid reports that he misled senior White House officials about the content of a series of phone calls with Kislyak in December.
Reports emerged last week that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctionsagainst 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 faith in his adviser “eroded.” He insisted the matter with Flynn was “not a legal issue.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he would not open an investigation into Flynn, citing executive privilege.
The California lawmaker added that his committee will probe who leaked the story that led to Flynn’s resignation, however, and why the retired Army lieutenant general was recorded.