House Oversight chairman wants US intelligence leaks surrounding Trump investigated

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says he wants an investigation into classified intelligence leaks that have been causing an uproar in the Trump administration.

Chaffetz asserted in a letter to the Inspector General published on Wednesday that the leaks could have “grave effects” on national security.

Chaffetz cited details revealed in news stories about President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and he pointed to conversations between a former deputy US attorney general and a White House lawyer who conferred over US Justice Department (DOJ) findings about Flynn’s phone calls with a Russian ambassador.

That story surrounding Flynn ultimately led to his resignation on Monday.

Democratic lawmakers earlier this week criticised Chaffetz for what they perceived as a lack of interest in digging deeper into Flynn’s associations with Russia, which the DOJ said last month could potentially compromise Flynn and make him susceptible to blackmail.

Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, have cast a pall over the Trump campaign and administration for some time.

Chaffetz himself faced angry constituents in his congressional district in Utah last week. He was repeatedly shouted down during a raucous town hall meeting near Salt Lake City. People at the event grilled him over his responses to the Trump administration’s early controversies, and at several points, alternated between chants of “do your job” and “your last term.”

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