Investigate Michael Flynn's Communications with Russia

Michael Flynn, national security advisor to the Trump administration, contacted Russian officials prior to President Trump’s inauguration. Most troublingly, Flynn discussed sanctions levied by President Obama against the country due to its involvement in the 2016 presidential election and urged Russia not to overreact to the action, making clear the sanctions would come under review after the inauguration. 

Through these conversations, a non-elected official, appointed by a President-elect who had yet to take office, violated the Logan Act of 1799, which prohibits unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments that the US is engaged in disputes with. Not only did Flynn act illegally, his relations with Russia continue to reveal a troubling relationship between the Trump camp and Russia. These actions must not only be condemned, but also congressionally investigated.

SAMPLE DIALOGUE

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you please let me know the Senator’s/Representative’s views on conversations between Michael Flynn, national security advisor, and Russia pertaining to sanctions levied against the country by the Obama Administration?

OPTION 1: OPPOSES FLYNN’S DISCUSSIONS WITH RUSSIA

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator/Representative Bob believes Michael Flynn acted inappropriately in privately discussing US sanctions against Russia with foreign officials.

    Caller: That’s great to hear. I’m calling to say that I truly believe Flynn’s actions are in violation with US law, under the Logan Act of 1799. If the Senator/Representative truly believes, as I do, that Michael Flynn’s are a concerning indication of the Trump Administration’s relationship with Russia, he should do everything he can to condemn these illegal actions. This means making public statements against Flynn’s conversations as well as supporting congressional efforts to investigate the issue.

    If member is on House Oversight: In addition, as a member of the House Oversight Committee, I request that Representative Bob push the committee to further investigate this issue.

    If member is on Senate Foreign Relations Committee or House Foreign Affairs: In addition, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations/House Foreign Affairs Committee, I ask that Senator/Representative Bob request the committee to hold a hearing to look into Flynn’s pre-election promises to Russia.


    I am happy to hear the Senator/Representative opposes the relationship and conversations forged between Flynn and Russian officials prior to the election and inauguration of Donald Trump. Will he commit to holding Flynn accountable by supporting investigations into the Trump Administration’s relationship with Russia?

OPTION 2: SUPPORTS FLYNN’S DISCUSSIONS WITH RUSSIA

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator/Representative Bob believes Flynn did not behave inappropriately in his discussions with Russian officials.

    Caller: That’s terrible! What that means is Senator/Representative Bob is choosing to ignore multiple reports of inappropriate discussions between Flynn and Russia prior to the inauguration. Nine US intelligence and law enforcement officials have reported Flynn explicitly spoke of election-related sanctions levied by the Obama Administration. In addition, two of these officials went further to state Flynn left Russian officials with the impression that sanctions would be revisited after President Trump’s inauguration. These conversations are reckless and endanger US diplomatic relations with Russia and interests abroad. 

    Staffer: But advisors and diplomats need access to foreign officials in order discuss mutual interests.

    Caller: Certainly, but Flynn discussed the removal of the sanctions before the inauguration of President Trump. This means he actively undermined a current administration’s foreign policy toward an adversarial country. Does Senator/Representative Bob support individuals undercutting US government and diplomatic actions abroad?

OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION

  • Staffer: Thank you for calling. I have no idea the Senator/Representative’s position on Flynn’s discussions with Russian officials.

    Caller: That’s disappointing to hear-- this is a very important issue for millions of Americans who are increasingly worried over the Trump Administration’s relationship with Russia before and after the election and prior to his inauguration. By refusing to acknowledge Flynn’s discussions of sanctions with Russia, the Trump Administration is setting a dangerous precedent of US citizens interfering in foreign policy. Did you know 9 US intelligence and law enforcement agents have reported Flynn explicitly discussed election-related sanctions? Furthermore, two of those officials went on to say Flynn left Russian officials with the impression that sanctions would be revisited after President Trump’s inauguration.

    Staffer: I did not know that, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.

    Caller: My concerns are this: We need to ensure that the Trump Administration will be held accountable for inappropriate relations with Russia during the election. I expect Senator/Representative Bob will represent his constituents like me and oppose individual interference in US foreign policy. I expect Senator/Representative Bob to do two things to prove that he is on my side here:

    1. Publicly state his condemnation for Flynn’s conversations.

    2. Support congressional efforts to investigate the matter.

    If member is on House Oversight: In addition, as a member of the House Oversight Committee, I request that Representative Bob push the committee to further investigate this issue.

    If member is on Senate Foreign Relations / House Foreign Affairs Committee: In addition, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations/House Foreign Affairs Committee, I ask that Senator/Representative Bob request the committee to hold a hearing to look into Flynn’s pre-election promises to Russia.
ScriptsCaroline Kavit