The U.S. House of Representatives was filled with calls to establish an independent commission to investigate what appear to be high crimes by Donald Trump, involving collaboration between his presidential campaign and Russian spy agencies conducting attacks against the US presidential election in 2016.
Representative Jackie Speier accused Donald Trump of ordering Michael Flynn to break the law by violating the Logan Act. “In his resignation letter, General Flynn wrote: ‘I have always performed my duties with the utmost of integrity and honesty to those I have served, to include the President of the United States.’ I believe General Flynn. I believe he did precisely what the President of the United States asked him to do. General Flynn is a military man. He is accustomed to the chain of command. He did not do anything that he was not asked to do. He was not a rogue agent, but had the complete knowledge and cooperation of his Commander in Chief. We have all heard Donald Trump boast of how smart he is and how he calls his own shots. Why then should we believe that, when it comes to national security, he prefers to be kept in the dark? A President can’t be both in charge and out of the loop,” Speier said.
Representative Robin Kelly demanded to know when the Republican leadership of Congress will begin to investigate the Russian attacks against the US election in 2016, which appear to have taken place at the request of Trump himself. “In the wake of troubling events in the Trump White House, I have one simple question: Where is the hearing?” she asked. “In less than a month, we have watched the credibility and security of our democracy endangered by a descent into scandal, distrust, and an authoritative environment. What are we going to do about it? I serve as the top Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IT subcommittee, yet I have heard nothing about a hearing to investigate Russia’s cyber attacks on our elections. Where is the hearing?”
Representative Cheri Bustos accused Republican leaders in Congress of purposefully obstructing investigations into Donald Trump’s connections to Russian attacks against the United States. Bustos stood on the floor of the U.S. House and stated, “We still don’t know the extent of Russia’s disturbing interference in our election because our calls for an investigation have been stonewalled, and we just learned that the Trump campaign was in regular conversation with Russian intelligence officials. President Trump’s coziness with Vladimir Putin is an urgent matter of national security. It is time that the Trump administration truly put America first, rather than the Kremlin.”
Representative Dan Kildee urged Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to stop delaying investigations, and allow the establishment of an independent commission to investigate Trump’s many connections with spies working for the Russian government. He identified key questions for an investigation, asking “Did the President or others know or direct Flynn’s secret communications with Russia? Why did the White House sit on its hands for weeks, even after being told its National Security Adviser could have been compromised? Were Trump campaign officials colluding with Russians? These are questions that the American people deserve answers to. We need a bipartisan, independent commission to examine these questions. The credibility of our government is at stake. Congress must act.”
The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives signaled, however, that it is unwilling to look into Donald Trump’s involvement with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Representative Hakeem Jeffries challenged Paul Ryan, saying, “It is time for House Republicans to do their job and put country ahead of party. Join us in a bipartisan investigation of the White House. What did the President know, and when did he know it?”
In response, Republican Mike Simpson, who held the gavel at the time, silenced Jeffries, and accused him of making “improper references to the President”.