National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned Feb. 13 for misleading the Vice President and White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Officials said Mike Pence told others in the White House that he believed Flynn lied to him about not discussing sanctions on a call with the ambassador in December.
Sanctions were placed on Russia for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. These sanctions restrict travel for certain individuals and officials; limited the financing of six of Russia’s largest banks and four energy companies and prohibited the provision, exportation or re-exportation of good, services and technology.
Since Flynn was a private citizen when these conversations took place, he might have violated the Logan Act. The Logan Act forbids private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments about any “disputes or controversies.”
As of this writing, it is unknown if Flynn had permission from President Obama to speak with foreign officials.
Discussing the sanctions with the Russian ambassador would definitely qualify as speaking about a “dispute” between two countries. More than likely, Flynn will not be prosecuted for breaking this law. No one in 218 years has ever been tried for violating the Logan Act.
Flynn is also being investigated by the Army on whether he received money from the Russian government during a trip to Moscow. Doing so would violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from a foreign government without consent of Congress.
Flynn is not the first from Trump’s inner circle to be forced out due to Russian dealings.
Former campaign manager, Paul Manafort and Carter Page, whom Trump described as an adviser, were both forced to leave the campaign last summer after reports about their contacts with the Kremlin. Manafort worked for Rinat Akhmetov, Dmirty Firtash and Oleg Deripaska, all of which are pro-Russian oligarchs, as an adviser. Page is an investment banker with close links to Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas company, and a proud supporter of Putin.
Trump himself seems to have received some aid from Russia as well.
During a press conference in July, Trump made an odd request directly to Russia.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 (of Clinton’s) emails that are missing,” Trump said.
Asking a foreign nation to directly interfere with American politics is major no-no that Trump seemingly got away with. Late in the general election, thousands and thousands of emails hacked by Russia leaked back into the spotlight. The timing of these emails being leaked was oddly convenient for Trump.
The majority of House Republicans are being very quiet on asking why Trump and Putin have such a close bromance. Democrat Eijah Cummings ripped into them on Valentine’s Day for doing nothing.
“Do you hear that? Do you hear the sound of silence,” Cummings said. “This is the sound of House Republicans conducting no oversight of President Trump. …(Democrats) have been asking for months for basic oversight for the president and his advisors and their ties to Russia. However, chairman Jason Chaffetz, has not lifted one finger.”
House Republicans doing nothing about Trump and his posse’s ties to Russia could be because they are scared of losing their jobs. Trump controls the Republican voters and could tell them to not vote for those that do not support them.
82 percent of Trump voters believe he is more credible than the New York Times so the majority of them will trust in any hot garbage, such as the Bowling Green Massacre, the President says.
The entirety of Trump’s group needs to be investigated. It has only been 32 days since he took office and there have been multiple scandals, a senior advisor being cited for a clear ethics breach, the Press Secretary telling “alternate facts” (otherwise known as lying) to the American public multiple times and multiple massive protests.
This is not normal.
Trump fanboying over Putin is also extremely out of ordinary. I may have my tinfoil hat on too tight but their relationship seems shady.
Ironically, the curtain may have started to fall on the Trump presidency. Flynn is just the first domino to fall.