DNC: 'This Is Already Bigger Than Watergate'

By Susan Jones | February 15, 2017 | 10:33am EST
Gen. Michael Flynn and Donald Trump in happier days. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The controversy surrounding Gen. Michael Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador have Democrats calling for an independent "bipartisan" investigation, while Republicans says matters involving classified intelligence are best left to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

"This is bigger than Watergate," the Democrat National Committee said in a statement released Wednesday morning.

"The sanctity of our democracy demands an immediate, independent, transparent investigation into the connections between Donald Trump, his staff and the Russian government – not a process buried in the secret Republican-controlled intelligence committees or run by a Trump-controlled Attorney General. Nothing short of a special select committee with open hearings, a bipartisan 9/11 style commission and the appointment of a special counsel at the Department of Justice is remotely acceptable,” the brief statement said.

"The Democrats want this to be a public story," Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told Fox News on Wednesday. "They're much more interested in the politics of it than in finding out what actually happened."

Gowdy also noted that one of his Democrat colleagues has called for "public hearings" on the Russian medding: "Whenever someone says they want public hearings about a classified matter, you just know they're not serious."

A short time later, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told "Fox News," "Russia has attacked us -- they attacked us in November in trying to compromise our free election system, and there's evidence that they're continuing to try to infiltrate our country. It's important that we have that type of a serious, independent investigation done as to how we can protect ourselves from this type of vulnerability to our national security."

Cardin said he wants the same type of "blue ribbon" commission as the one set up after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

"This is not politics," Cardin said. "This is about protecting our national security." He said an independent commission will "give the American people confidence that it's not politics as usual."

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