U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va), is cautioning the Trump Administration against interfering with the investigations into ties with Russia, following today’s guilty plea by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the plea “comes on the heels of a new report about the President’s efforts to silence the independent, bipartisan Senate investigation into ties between Trump associates and Russia.”
“The Special Counsel’s probe has found illegal behavior stretching into the senior most levels of the White House,” Warner said in an email to FairfaxNews. “Mike Flynn has pled guilty to criminal conduct, while he was serving as National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, involving his contact with Russian officials. This follows the guilty plea of a Trump campaign aide; charges against a Trump campaign manager; and charges against a key aide to the Trump campaign and transition.”
Warner said the plea was “part of an alarming pattern in which the President has already fired the FBI Director; pressured the Attorney General and top U.S. intelligence officials to interfere with an ongoing investigation; and contemplated issuing pardons for his associates or firing the special counsel, according to numerous press reports.
“Members of Congress from both parties must make clear that those actions would be fundamentally unacceptable and incompatible with the rule of law,” Warner said. “The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence takes seriously our responsibility to continue a thorough, bipartisan probe that follows the facts wherever they may lead.”