House intelligence panel subpoenas Flynn, Cohen; seeks 'unmasking' docs

The U.S. House intelligence committee was expected to issue subpoenas on Wednesday to President Donald Trump's former national security adviser and his personal lawyer in connection with its probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, sources familiar with the matter said. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., said last week they had demanded documents from Flynn's businesses, Flynn Intel Group Inc. and Flynn Intel Group LLC.

The committee's statement, released by Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, said that the subpoenas were for "testimony, personal documents and business records".

They have signaled that they see unmasking as the key to investigating the source of media leaks damaging to the Trump administration - such as the exposure of Flynn, who was forced to resign in February after media reports based on surveillance leaks revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about the contents of his discussions with the Russian ambassador.

Nunes has unilateral authority on the House intelligence committee to issue subpoenas, although the committee's rules recommend he consult with the top Democrat as well, who is now Schiff. Those subpoenas seek information on requests made by former national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power for names to be unmasked in classified material. "Any prior requests for information would have been undertaken without the minority's knowledge".

Another senior committee aide said any subpoenas related to the unmasking issue would have been sent by committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation after being criticized for being too close to the White House.

It wasn't immediately clear what exactly Comey plans to tell the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, though lawmakers are certainly likely to ask Comey about his interactions with President Trump as the bureau pursued its investigation into his campaign's contacts. Trump denies any collusion between Russian Federation and his campaign and has questioned the veracity of the US intelligence finding.

The person close to Flynn said that the former national security adviser wants to cooperate with the congressional investigation as long as doing so doesn't violate his constitutional rights. The retired Army general is the subject of congressional, Justice Department and Defense Department investigations into his apparent failure to disclose payments he received from Russian and Turkish entities.

  • Leroy Wright