Ohio Sen. Brown joins call for Flynn inquiry

Democrats want attorney general to call in a special prosecutor.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio joined 10 other Senate Democrats today in urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to name a special independent counsel to investigate “possible illegal communications” between former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian officials before President Donald Trump was inaugurated.

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The 11 Democrats, all of whom voted against Sessions’ nomination to head the Justice Department, wrote in a letter to Sessions that “an independent investigation is now necessary to determine what General Flynn did, who knew about it, and when.”

Flynn is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general. He resigned Tuesday following reports he may have misled White House officials and Vice President Mike Pence about telephone conversations he had in December with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.

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“The disclosure that General Flynn spoke repeatedly to Russian Ambassador Kislyak regarding the easing of U.S. sanctions on Russia, potentially undermining important U.S. foreign policy, reveals a stunning and potentially criminal dereliction of General Flynn’s duty to our nation,” the senators wrote. “The revelation of these secret calls by General Flynn arises amidst several serious unresolved questions about ties between this administration and Russia.”

Trump has blamed the news media for the controversy and charged that unnamed officials were leaking classified information to news organizations about Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak.

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Jennifer Donohue, a Brown spokeswoman said Brown “would not oppose an investigation into the leaks. But let’s be clear, the real issue here is whether the White House’s ties to Russian officials undermine our national security and democratic institutions. We cannot allow questions over how the information came to light be used as a distraction to continue hiding the truth from the American people.”

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