Michael Flynn and the 6 Big Questions

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Michael Flynn and the 6 Big Questions

Lt. General Michael Flynn (ret.), shown here at Trump Tower, resigned on Monday night as President's Trump national security advisor. But this is just the beginning of the story, and the questions, not the end. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty)

The American public deserves to know the answers to at least the first five of these questions, and will then make a judgment on the sixth:

1. Why didn’t Trump act sooner to fire Flynn? He knew about Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador at least since January, when then-acting attorney general Sally Yates notified the White House that Flynn had “put himself in a compromising position” with his phone call to the Russian ambassador.

2. What, if anything, did Trump authorize Michael Flynn to tell the Russians before the inauguration?

3. What other contacts did Flynn and other Trump aides have with Russia before the election? U.S. intelligence reports show that Flynn was in touch with Russian ambassador Kislyak during the 2016 campaign, and that communications between the two continued after Nov. 8. The Russian ambassador has even confirmed having contacts with Flynn before and after the election, though he declined to say what was discussed.

4. Did Flynn or other Trump aides know of or cooperate with Russia in interfering in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf?



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5. If so, did Trump know about or encourage such cooperation?

These questions won’t go away. The FBI and the Senate Intelligence Community are investigating. Hopefully, investigative reporters are also on the case. Eventually, the truth will come out. As Richard Nixon learned, coverups in Washington just make things worse. 

Which leads inevitably to the last question:

6. If Trump knew or encouraged, will he be impeached?

Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

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