House intel panel approves subpoenas for Flynn, Trump's lawyer
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 1:12
The refusal of Cohen and Flynn to comply with the committees' requests sets up a potential legal confrontation that could include congressional contempt citations, court rulings and the charge of obstruction of justice on the part of Trump, an impeachable offense.
Chairman Devin Nunes issued subpoenas to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA, and the National Security Agency for information about how the names of Trump campaign officials were "unmasked" in classified intelligence reports from those agencies.
As part of our ongoing investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 campaign, today we approved subpoenas for several individuals for testimony, personal documents and business records.
Flynn had previously declined the committee's invitation to speak with them and provide documents on the issue.
The House Intelligence Committee's request for information from Cohen came as the investigators continue to scrutinize members of Trump's inner circle.
Why the change? Because after receiving Flynn's nyet, the Senate committee turned around and started sending subpoenas to Flynn's companies. Cohen said he would be happy to testify if he got a subpoena.
The House intelligence committee has also sought information from Epshteyn, a former staffer in the Trump White House.
He stepped down from the Russian Federation investigation in April after the House Ethics Committee said it had opened an inquiry into whether he had improperly disclosed classified information.
The probe is looking into any possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Two weeks ago Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Muller as independent counsel in the Trump-Russia probe following two days of intense bipartisan criticism stemming from The New York Times reporting that recently fired FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo about a February meeting with President Donald Trump.
Cohen told ABC News that he had been asked by both the House and Senate intelligence committees to provide information and testimony about contacts he had with Russian officials.
The committee had issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses Flynn operated - Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel, Inc. - with a list of documents they wanted after Flynn stonewalled the panel. Four of the subpoenas were issued on the Russian Federation probe and three others were issued seeking information on "unmasking", the identification of United States citizens picked up during surveillance of foreign nationals.
"Russian officials must be laughing at the US & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News", Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
Some foreign affairs experts said the move, while former President Barack Obama had weeks left in his term, anxious them that it could undermine USA security, and some opposition Democrats have suggested Kushner's security clearance should be revoked. Trump has denied collusion with Russian Federation, and says he's being persecuted and that this is political sabotage and fake news.