Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday (14 February) that it is "highly likely" that the Senate intelligence committee will conduct an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his discussions with Russia. Both Republicans and Democrats have called for an investigation into Flynn's involvement with the Russian ambassador.
"I think the fundamental question for us is what is our involvement in it, and who ought to look at it," McConnell said. "And the intelligence committee is already looking at Russian involvement in our election ... it is highly likely they will want to take a look at this episode as well. They have the broad jurisdiction to do it."
Other ranking Republican senators have also called for an investigation, CNN reported. Senator John Cornyn told reporters that the Senate standing committees with oversight of intelligence must probe the issue. Cornyn told CNN he wanted the Senate's committees to investigate Flynn but would not say if the former national security advisor should testify before Congress.
"I think it's symbolic of somebody with a distinguished military career making a bad mistake," Cornyn said.
In an interview with KTRS radio, Senator Roy Blunt said the intelligence committee should speak to Flynn soon. "I think we should look into it exhaustively so that the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned, and shouldn't reach conclusions before you have the information that you need to have to make those conclusions," he said.
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said Tuesday that his panel will not investigate the circumstances leading up to Flynn's resignation on Monday (13 February). Instead, he will defer to the House Intelligence Committee, The Hill reported.
"I think that situation has taken care of itself. I know that the intel committee is looking into the hacking issue," Chaffetz said. "I think he did the right thing stepping down."
Flynn stepped down as President Donald Trump's national security advisor on Monday following a report by The Washington Post that revealed the Justice Department warned the Trump administration in January that Flynn misled administration officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn held the conversations before he was an official government employee. CNN reported it is illegal for unauthorised private citizens to negotiate on behalf of the US with foreign governments.
According to The Washington Post, Democrats have called for the creation of a separate commission to investigate the latest developments regarding Flynn, as well as whether they implicate other members of Trump's administration.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said "unbiased" law enforcement officials should lead a federal investigation. Schumer said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should not be involved due to his political connections to the White House and to Trump's campaign.