Cooper Questions U.S. Ties with Russia
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today requested a full briefing by the Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other relevant agencies concerning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian officials – and any knowledge and involvement others in the Trump administration may have had regarding those communications.
Outlined in the attached letter, the request for a briefing occurred after last night, when Rep. Cooper asked Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz for a full investigation into United States ties with Russia.
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have indicated that, ahead of President Trump’s inauguration, incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn suggested to Russian officials that the new administration would scrutinize or potentially reverse sanctions imposed by President Obama. The Times asserted that General Flynn potentially “violated a law against private citizens’ engaging in diplomacy.”
Late Monday night, General Flynn resigned after The Washington Post reported that the Justice Department warned the White House that General Flynn had misled administration officials about those discussions. The Post also said General Flynn “was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.”
Rep. Cooper today reiterated his call for a bipartisan, independent investigation into Russian hacking in the 2016 election. American intelligence agencies have concluded with high confidence that the Russian government meddled in the presidential election by hacking emails, spreading disinformation and promoting false political news.
“Russia is our enemy, not our friend,” Rep. Cooper said. “Inappropriate contact with Russian officials isn’t just illegal, it’s dangerous. Congress should investigate these matters immediately.”