Did Trump Know Enough to Obstruct Justice?
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 5:06
This week Flynn refused to comply with a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena for documents, claiming his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Following reports that Trump had given classified information to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office in early May - the day after the White House announced the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Trump's ties with Russia - the New York Times published a story about the mood within the White House that suggested Trump may have given that information unwittingly.
The comments came one day after lawyers for Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that he would not cooperate with a subpoena for records of communications related to Russian Federation.
Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn's corporate structures would likely have to turn over all business records sought by the committee.
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel, is overseeing an investigation into Russia's meddling in the election and whether there was any collusion with Trump associates. One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau's investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties.
The majority of voters (52% across both parties and 56% of independents) surveyed said they did not think it was appropriate for the president to reveal such highly classified information to Russian Federation, possibly also affecting Trump's popularity rating. Brennan said he contacted the Russian intelligence service last August to warn them against meddling in the US election, an allegation they denied. Flynn misled White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States after Trump's election victory, which led to his dismissal.
The previous month, according to a Comey memo described by The New York Times, Trump interceded with the FBI director on behalf of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of the associates whose ties to Russian Federation are of interest to the bureau. The NSA did not respond to a request for comment. But he did say, in answer to a hypothetical question, that "any political shaping of intelligence would be inappropriate".
"Have you talked about this issue with Adm. Rogers?" asked Blumenthal. Trump says Comey was sacked because he no longer had confidence in him to lead the agency, a claim that only 36% of Americans say they believe.
Flynn, who was sacked as national security adviser in February after he misled administration officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US, earlier this week rejected a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena for records of his communications with Russian officials, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.