Warner: Panel's next steps on Flynn coming Tuesday
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 11:58
WASHINGTON-The Senate Intelligence Committee issued two new subpoenas to business entities controlled by Mike Flynn, in an escalation of the legal showdown with President Donald Trump's former national security adviser over his cooperation with the panel's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr says senators will wait for Flynn's response to Tuesday's requests before they decide the next course of action, including the possibility of a contempt of Congress citation.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the committee, identified the businesses as Flynn Intel Group LLC and Flynn Intel Group Inc., both based in Alexandria, Va.
The committee is conducting one of the main congressional probes into United States intelligence agency reports of Russian meddling in the election and whether there was any collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.
"General Flynn had a duty to be truthful in his security clearance renewal form and during his interview with security clearance investigators", Cummings wrote, noting that he's been in contact with the Justice Department and the newly appointed special counsel about his findings.
Citing the "escalating public frenzy" around Flynn's role in the Trump campaign and his possible ties to Moscow, lawyers for the retired lieutenant general argued in a letter Monday that the committee's subpoena had been so broad that it amounted to compelling testimony from their client.
Legal experts earlier predicted Mr Flynn was unlikely to turn over the documents without a grant of immunity because doing so might compel him to waive some of his constitutional protections.
Dan Coats, the current USA director of national intelligence, declined to comment Tuesday on a Washington Post report that said the president had asked him to publicly deny any collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign. "We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said 'I've got a story to tell.' We're allowing him that opportunity to do it".
Flynn said in March that he would talk to congressional investigators in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
The Senate committee first requested documents from Flynn in an April 28 letter, but he declined to cooperate with the request.
The announcement came a day after Flynn's lawyer notified the committee that Flynn would not appear and would not produce the documents, citing the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives a person the right to avoid self-incrimination.
"We've taken the actions we feel are appropriate right now".
Lawmakers of other key congressional committees are pledging a full public airing as to why former FBI Director James Comey was ousted amid the intensifying investigations into Russia's interference with the US election.
The retired lieutenant general is a key witness in the Russian Federation probe, which has roiled the first months of President Donald Trump's presidency with a spate of negative news reports.
"We are going to be entertaining the same options in terms of our subpoenas, which I hope will go out shortly, to obtain these documents", Schiff said.
The Oklahoma lawmaker tweeted: "We need facts, not speculation & anonymous sources".