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Kinzinger: Flynn ‘coverup’ is ‘arguably, or questionably a crime’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger | Sun-Times file

WASHINGTON – Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Tuesday said former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone conversation with a Russian ambassador — contacts that led to his resignation — were “arguably, or questionably, a crime.”

Kinzinger was reacting to Flynn’s Monday night resignation, accepted by President Donald Trump because Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of the call.

On FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” Kinzinger said: “Look in this case, the cover-up was worse than the crime. You know it’s arguably, or questionably, a crime – probably not, because look, you know, [Rev.] Jesse Jackson, [former President Jimmy] Carter, during other administrations left to negotiate with other governments against the government, so that was a Logan Act violation.

“It was a bad decision to call Russia and talk about this in the middle of, you know, the past administration determining what sanctions are going to look like. But what happened, the big problem is when he lied to the vice president.”

DUCKWORTH: What did Trump know?

In a statement, Sen. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., said: “By reportedly misleading the Vice President-elect about his collusion with a foreign government to undermine our nation’s foreign policy, General Flynn left himself exposed to blackmail, betrayed our country’s interests and lost the trust of both the Commander-in-Chief and the American people.

“Like so many of his poorly-vetted and ethically-challenged senior advisors and Cabinet nominees, President Trump should never have chosen Flynn for such a critically important role; the General’s resignation was long overdue. The American people deserve a full and transparent accounting of what President Trump and his top aides knew and when they knew it. If the President cannot or will not provide those answers, Congress must use its authority as a coequal branch of government to fully investigate why.”

DURBIN: Need independent investigation

Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., said in a statement, “The American people deserve to know the truth about possibly illegal contacts between the Russian government and the President’s campaign and Transition, as well as who else is involved or could be vulnerable to Russian coercion.

“Reports that the Justice Department informed the Trump Administration last week that General Flynn may have been compromised and could represent a security threat only heighten the need for an independent investigation. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to put America’s national security ahead of party loyalty and join us in demanding this.”