Midstate lawmakers weigh in on Michael Flynn’s resignation and the need for an investigation

Harrisburg, PA (WHTM) – Following the resignation of President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, abc27 reached out to several lawmakers to get their take on the resignation and whether they support calls for congressional hearings or an independent investigation.

In a statement, Rep. Charlie Dent, whose district includes Dauphin and Lebanon Counties, said, “The reports regarding those close to the Trump campaign interacting with members of the Russian intelligence community are alarming. The allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election and the more recent revelations of General Flynn’s and other individuals’ interactions with Russian officials, including Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, should be investigated by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. I look forward to learning about their findings.”

“I think it was appropriate for the president to ask for Gen. Flynn’s resignation,” said republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker who represents parts of Lancaster County. “The Senate has indicated that it is highly likely they will take up an investigation, and I would encourage any effort to do so.”

Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright who represents parts of Lebanon, Perry, and Schuylkill Counties said, “I don’t want to make everything a political football. I’m not interested in distracting from the main goal, which is to create family sustaining jobs and to protect social security, medicare and veteran’s benefits, but, we do need to have a set of standards and we do need to understand what happened. So, I think I’d like to see an independent non-partisan investigation into these allegations of improper Russian contacts.”

“Congressman Shuster supports President Trump’s decision to ask General Flynn to resign and his position on Russia has always been clear- they are not an ally or friend to the United States,” said Casey Contres, communication director for Rep. Bill Shuster, a republican who represents Franklin County. “A matter not receiving the attention it deserves but should warrant further investigation is the continued leaks of information that compromise the government’s ability to serve the public. While transparency and oversight are important, the continued leaks on several diplomatic matters compromise and damage the country, which is why they deserve just as much scrutiny.”

Rep. Scott Perry, the republican who represents York, Adams, and parts of Cumberland and Dauphin Counties issued this statement, “Russia is not an ally of the United States. In recent years, we’ve seen a stark escalation in Russian aggression against American and Western interests. Any potential allegations involving Russia should be taken very seriously. First, we have to get the facts rather than basing opinions solely on media reports. Lt. General Flynn has an incredibly distinguished career and his loyalty to the country is beyond question.  The FBI needs to fully brief the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on this matter, including how a highly sensitive classified phone recording of an American citizen was leaked to the press. Unwarranted wiretapping of an American citizen and releasing classified information is illegal.  These committees are already investigating Russia’s alleged interference with the DNC, and if the facts warrant it, they will expand the scope of that investigation.”

Republican Rep. Lou Barletta whose district includes parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties said, “I think General Flynn did the right thing by resigning. He did not want to become a distraction. I thank General Flynn for his long and distinguished military career and a lifetime of service to this nation.”

A spokesman for Rep. Tom Marino, the republican who represents Perry and Juniata Counties, said his office has no comment on Flynn.

During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, republican Sen. Pat Toomey said Flynn’s resignation was appropriate but added, “I do think this whole episode raises important questions. One of them is how did the intelligence community come upon this information in the first place. We have strict laws that very narrowly constrain the ability of our intelligence services to spy on American citizens.” Sen. Toomey also has questions about where the leaks of the information on Flynn came from. That is an issue that President Trump has also raised. Sen. Toomey did add, “If there was something inappropriate in the discussion between General Flynn and a Russian, then by all means we ought to look into that.””

Pennsylvania’s democratic senator, Bob Casey, has tweeted frequently about the issue. “We have to investigate not only what happened with General Flynn, but what the White House knew and when they knew it.” Another tweet, “Gen. Flynn’s resignation only furthers the need for an independent investigation into any possible links between Russia and Trump Admin.”

Rep. Patrick Meehan has yet to respond to abc27’s inquiry. When we hear back from him, we will update this article.

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