As evidence grows of the White House cover-up of the Michael Flynn scandal, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has issued a statement that implicates Vice President Mike Pence, who apparently lied to the American people about his involvement.
Among the many scandals dogging Donald Trump’s administration is the failure to properly vet disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who had ties to foreign governments and received payments from Russia, despite a warning from the Defense Intelligence Agency that it would be illegal to do so.
The White House has been obstructing the congressional investigation into Flynn, refusing to turn over documents requested by the House Oversight Committee.
In March, Pence claimed that he had “just learned” of payments that Flynn received for his work on behalf of the Turkish government. However, new reports show that the Trump transition team, led by Pence, was aware of Flynn’s work and appointed him to the position anyway. Now Marc T. Short, the White House director for Legislative Affairs and Pence’s longtime aide and family friend, is orchestrating the obstruction of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of Flynn, which could be incredibly damaging to Pence.
In a statement emailed to Shareblue, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of that committee, states that he personally warned Pence about Flynn’s conflicts of interest:
In addition to being in the press in the fall — well after General Flynn’s last background check — I warned the Vice President directly six months ago about the conflicts created by Lt. General Flynn’s company lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests. It is unclear whether the White House heeded my warnings or did any vetting at all, but it’s clear now that they could have prevented the problems that occurred with Lt. General Flynn. Republicans in Congress are doing a disservice to the White House and our national security interests by not conducting rigorous and serious oversight of the Administration, especially to help catch issues early and address them.
Cummings is referring to a letter that he sent Pence in November, during the presidential transition, warning of Flynn’s activities on behalf of a foreign government, and requesting additional information from Pence, as head of the transition team.
The Trump team obviously ignored Cummings’ warnings and is now desperately trying to hide what they knew, even before Trump took office, about Flynn’s work on behalf of foreign governments.
Cummings’ latest statement highlights the partisanship that has hobbled all of the investigations into the Trump administration, and demonstrates the urgent need for an independent investigation.