February 16, 2017

Udall, Heinrich calling for investigations in wake of Flynn resignation

Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump at CPAC in 2011. Flickr cc

Both U.S. Senators from New Mexico are calling for investigations into Donald Trump’s administration—for two separate scandals, both involving national security.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall signed onto a letter with ten other Democratic U.S. senators asking for an investigation into communications between Michael Flynn, the retired lieutenant general who was recently Trump’s national security advisor, and those with ties to Russian government officials.

The letter sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions said an investigation is needed “to determine what General Flynn did, who knew about it, and when.”

Udall also previously called for an investigation into the influence of the Russian government on the election.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation into the handling of classified information.

“We’ve seen a pattern of carelessness and lack of accountability from this administration that puts our national security and America’s standing in the world at risk,” Heinrich said. “General Flynn’s resignation is only the latest in a series of serious mishandlings of national security matters by the Trump Administration. The American people deserve answers to how their government is protecting them and handling sensitive national security information.”

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< Heinrich wrote a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Mike Depmsey asking for the investigation. In the letter, Heinrich mentioned both the Flynn resignation and Trump’s unusual “open-air situation room” with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe while at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Udall previously questioned the security at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has referred to as the “Winter White House.” Trump has spent the last two weekends at the club, and is scheduled to do so again this weekend, while holding a campaign-style rally in Florida.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a Senate investigation into the Flynn scandal is  “highly likely.”

The House, meanwhile, is not investigating the Flynn-Russia connections but instead asking the inspector general at the Department of Justice to look into the leaks that led to Flynn’s ouster and other information.

The Associated Press reported Thursday U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, the lone Republican in New Mexico’s delegation, supports an investigation into Flynn to see if any laws were broken.