Sen. Susan Collins Calls For Investigating Michael Flynn, Russia Ties

A Republican senator said Wednesday that she is open to requesting President Donald Trump's tax returns as part of the Senate Intelligence Committees' probe into Russia's alleged interfering in the 2016 presidential elections, The Washington Post reports.

Collins, a member of the intelligence committee, told Maine Public Wednesday that she wants Flynn to testify, although it's not clear if she wants that to happen in public or in a closed door session, which the committee frequently operates.

Asked whether that could include issuing a subpoena for the tax returns that Trump has refused to release, Collins said it could if that is what is required to find out if the president had undisclosed connections to the Russians.

Flynn has come under scrutiny after revelations that he misled Vice President Pence about the substance of conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period before Trump was installed as president.

Trump's refusal to disclose his tax returns is a break with longstanding tradition among US presidents. She said she hopes for "voluntary cooperation" but is open to using a subpoena if necessary.

Shortly before leaving office, President Obama imposed fresh sanctions on Russia and expelled 35 suspected Russian officials from the USA after his administration released a declassified report on Russian-backed hacking during the election. Toward the end of the meeting, group co-founder Marie Follayttar Smith, who was present at the meeting, said it had been hard to get ahold of the senator. Some members of the committee have expressed interest in calling Flynn to testify.

"I don't know whether we will need to do that, if it's necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would".

FBI Director James Comey on February 17 gave the committee a two-hour briefing on the agency's investigation of alleged Russian meddling, which started before the November election.

  • Leroy Wright