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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 17, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 07
Out like Flynn

Adam Smith demands 'full investigation'
Section One
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Out like Flynn

Adam Smith demands 'full investigation'

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle-area Rep. Adam Smith has demanded a 'full investigation' into Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn and the circumstances that led to his February 13 resignation as Donald Trump's national security advisor.

Flynn had been accused of secret back-channel communications with Russian officials, telling them that the incoming Trump administration would reverse President Obama's policy of sanctions against Russia.

After denying that he spoke with Russia and getting Vice President Mike Pence to back him up, evidence emerged that Flynn had indeed advised the Russians that Trump would go easy on them.

Even worse for Flynn, the Washington Post revealed that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had informed the Trump team that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail because he lied about his conversations with the Russians.

Yates was later fired by Trump after an unrelated dispute with the new regime.

Flynn was forced to resign, but Smith, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, did not want the issue to end there. The White House itself was implicated in shady practices, Smith charged.

'Two months ago, I stated that Lt. Gen. Flynn's judgment was abysmal and he should not be entrusted with policy decisions that affect the safety of the American people,' Smith wrote in a statement.

'The recent revelations about his dealings with the Russians underscored just how unfit he was for this position and made his resignation imperative.

'But perhaps even more importantly, these events raise grave questions about who in the White House knew about Flynn's vulnerability to blackmail and exploitation by the Russian government, and when they knew about it. If anyone in the White House knew about Flynn's vulnerability and chose not to act, they exercised inexcusably poor judgment that put the security of our country at enormous risk.

'What was the advice the White House counsel's office gave in this matter, and whom did they give it to? Did any of those individuals receive that advice and choose to turn a blind eye to the risks that Flynn's position posed to the United States? We must have answers to these questions, and we must have a full investigation that covers any and all connections to these events that could undermine the national security of the United States.'

Smith is not likely to get an investigation of the Flynn affair in a House of Representatives controlled by Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to deflect criticism away from Trump and his advisers.

'I think the president made the right decision to ask for his resignation. ... I'll leave it up to the administration to describe the circumstances,' Ryan told reporters.

'As soon as they realized they were being misled by the national security advisor, they asked for his resignation.'

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