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?
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, cover-ups in Washington just make things worse.
Which leads inevitably to the last question:
6. If Trump knew or encouraged, will he be impeached?
This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.
Robert B. Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His film, Inequality for All, was released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @RBReich.