- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Top Senate Republicans backed plans Tuesday to expand the committee investigation of Russian email hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign to include the conduct of Michael Flynn, who resigned as President Trump’s national security adviser Monday night over misrepresenting his communications with Russian officials.

Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee conducting the probe, said they should investigate Mr. Flynn and that he wanted to hear from Mr. Flynn personally.

Others called for Mr. Flynn to testify before the committee.

The expanded probe also was endorsed by Senate Assistant Majority Leader John Cornyn, Texas Republican.

Mr. Flynn, a veteran of the Defense Intelligence Agency and early supporter of Mr. Trump, resigned after weeks of turmoil surrounding his calls to the Russian ambassador during the transition. After telling Vice President Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia during the calls, reports surfaced that he did.

His resignation, which followed vacillations within the White House about his standing with the president, was the first major shakeup of the young Trump administration.

Capitol Hill Democrats have called for a select committee to investigate Russian attempts to influence the election and alleged ties to the Trump campaign, but most Republicans have resisted.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has previously backed the proposal for a select committee to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election, said it is too early to say whether an independent commission should also investigate Mr. Flynn.

“We need to look at the whole issue and why it has come about, and what is our relationship with Russian and why certainly things have happened the way they did,” Mr. McCain said. “There are serious questions that need to be answered, including our entire relationship with Russia.”

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