Bronx Congressman Pushes for New Sanctions Against Russia Amid Flynn Scandal

The electronic version of The New York Times claimed in its article on February 14 that members of Trump's presidential campaign had had contacts with Russian intelligence officials before the USA presidential elections in November 2016. The air started getting thin for him when it emerged just a few days after Trump's inauguration that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities had investigated pre-inauguration phone calls that the designated U.S. security adviser had made to Russia's ambassador in Washington. The next day, Trump press secretary Sean Spicer denies they spoke about sanctions.

U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night after days of reports over whether he discussed American sanctions against Russia in phone calls with a Russian diplomat before President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Last week, Gardner and several of his Republican colleagues urged Trump to take a tougher stance on Russian Federation.

CNN, who Trump has repeatedly lashed as "fake news", reported that "high-level advisers close to ..."

"There are a lot of campaigns in Western democracies that I've done that you don't read about", Manafort said.

Mr Manafort told the newspaper: "I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today". Defense officials have also said that Flynn, who is a retired three-star general, did not file the required paperwork for the Moscow trip. But the very act of undergoing an interview is potentially significant for Mr. Flynn because it is a crime to lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; charges have been filed against senior officials in previous administrations for lying to investigators.

That's when, according to the Washington Post, acting Attorney Attorney General Sally Yates brought transcripts of Kislyak's intercepted calls to the White House, and warned that Flynn could be subject to Russian blackmail for lying to Pence.

Flynn was a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, but his ties to Russian Federation caused concern among other senior aides.

The agencies have since attempted to uncover evidence that the Trump campaign was cooperating with Russian Federation to influence the election; though no such evidence has been found, the relatively high volume of communications was notable, and not limited to campaign officials.

Further, the official said, it was unclear whether the intercepted phone call was picked up as part of a formal counterintelligence investigation into Flynn, or through some other means of domestic or counterintelligence surveillance directed at the ambassador. At one point during his campaign, the 70-year-old urged Russian intelligence services to make his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton's emails public. "I think we should look into it exhaustively", he said, "so that at the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned". We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. "Who leaked it? I think those are legitimate questions to ask", he said.

Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, are calling for an a bipartisan commission to be convened.

  • Larry Hoffman