We had a very brief glimpse, or semblance of bipartisan conduct yesterday that stunned Rachel Maddow. (That bipartisan moment appears to be long gone today.) Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings joined forces to say that fired National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn broke the law with travel to Russia as well as receiving Russian and Turkish payments.
Chaffetz and Cummings sent a letter asking the White House for all documents on Flynn in late March, but the White House responded they were “unable to conduct a search for responsive documents.” The White House refused to provide a single document, and today, Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, is accusing the White House of “covering up for Michael Flynn.” He’s also asking Chaffetz, along with all Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to comply.
Cumming’s shocking statement to MSNBC:
“I honestly do not understand why the White House is covering up for Michael Flynn,” Cummings (D-Md.) said. “I don’t get it. After the President fired him, for lying. So the President fired him for lying about communications with the Russian ambassador. They should be bending over backwards to help us. It does not make any sense, and it makes the American people think the White House has something to hide. There’s obviously a paper trail, ladies and gentlemen. There is a paper trail, that the White House does not want our committee to follow, but let it be known that we will follow it. We will follow it with everything we got.”
See him state this in the video below:
JUST IN: Rep. Cummings on Flynn invest: "There is a paper trail … we will follow it with everything we've got." https://t.co/raHZl8QZCT
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) April 27, 2017
Contrast this with Chaffetz on Tuesday. Chaffetz told NBC News he thought the White House was acting in good faith, that they did not have documents. Chaffetz claims he didn’t think there were any documents.
“It’s not as if the White House isn’t responding. There just aren’t documents, and that’s the problem,” Chaffetz told NBC News. Yet just moments laters, when asked if the White House could have delivered Flynn’s SF 86 security clearance form, Chaffetz admits, “I’m not sure they’re going to make that public, but I think that they will make that available, and have.” Chaffetz did not say that Flynn broke the law, opting to say, “It doesn’t appear he complied with the law.”
Is there a difference? You decide. Meanwhile Chaffetz suddenly requires a leave of absense from his duties for three weeks for a foot injury that happened 12 years ago. Is he trying to avoid his investigative duties now?
See Chaffetz below:
Elijah Cumming’s Oversight and Government Reform account on Twitter, @OversightDems, released new documents today relating to Flynn, but not from the White House.
“These documents raise grave questions about why General Flynn concealed the payments he received from foreign sources after he was warned explicitly by the Pentagon,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “Our next step is to get the documents we are seeking from the White House so we can complete our investigation. I thank the Department of Defense for providing us with unclassified versions of these documents.”
House OversightDems then tweeted, “#BREAKING All Oversight Democrats to #Chaffetz – Get the #WhiteHouse Documents on Michael #Flynn. #Trump100 Days
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) April 27, 2017
All Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to Chairman Chaffetz.
“There is obviously a paper trail that the White House does not want our Committee to follow,” the Members wrote. “If the White House refuses to produce the documents requested by the Oversight Committee — as it has to date — we believe the Committee should consider employing compulsory measures as it did in similar cases during the previous Administration.”
The White House, and Chaffetz are now at task to stop standing in the way and reveal the paper trail they appear to be trying to conceal. Cummings also said that Sean Spicer made excuses rather than comply with requests.
“Come on, man. Look. General Flynn served in his position for 24 days. So that excuse from the White House will not fly,” Cummings said of Spicer.
The Pentagon’s “top watchdog” launched their own investigation into the money Flynn received from foreign groups.
Keith Olbermann revealed that legendary American investigative journalist and author, Carl Bernstein believes there is an active cover-up into the investigations from the White House. Bernstein, who led investigative reporting into the Watergate scandal, believes that Flynn “is the key to uncovering the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.”
Featured image via screen capture from youtube