“I didn’t direct him but I would have directed him if he didn’t do it”
February 16, 2017
Trial lawyers quite often unexpectedly strike upon the naked truth when asking a very simple question. The response they receive frequently unintentionally illustrates and exposes the true aims of the witness. At today’s news conference, President Trump was asked a simple question –did he authorize General Michael Flynn to communicate with the Russians during his presidential transition period. The President’s response – “I didn’t direct him but I would have directed him if he didn’t do it”
This response must be viewed in the context of what General Flynn was allegedly discussing with the Russian ambassador – sanctions! The Obama administration has imposed economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine; and the very day before General Flynn’s conversations, President Obama had imposed more restrictive sanctions in response to Russia’s illegal hacking of the email servers of American political institutions with the objective of undermining the fundamental principles of American democracy. Apparently, contact by Trump advisors with Russian intelligence even predated his nomination to the presidency. USA TODAY elaborates on this timeline in its article of yesterday.
Vladimir Putin’s uncharacteristic temperate response to the newly imposed sanctions evidences that Gen. Flynn probability signaled to the President of Russia that under the new Trump Administration, sanctions would be eased. The issue now presented to the American public is – would then Elect-President Trump have directed Gen. Flynn to advise Vladimir Putin that as President, he would likely be lifting sanctions in his new Administration? Is this the foreign policy agenda that we should anticipate from the new Administration?
It is now imperative that Congress play a major role in formulating a strong American foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia since apparently the Trump Administration may not be willing to do so. As suggested by the Atlantic Council, sanctions against Russia must be codified. The legislation, “The Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act of 2017,” would require approval from Congress before any sanctions against Russia are lifted. It has now become self-evident that this is the only way in which effective measures against Russia can be taken in support of the international rule of law and to protect our democracy. If this Administration will not do it, then Congress must!
For further information, please contact
Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq.
Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)
Tel: 201-507-4500; Email; email@example.com; Website; www.smorodsky.com