Trump's ex-adviser Flynn will not honor Senate subpoena

Vincent Carr
May 19, 2017

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr told news media late Thursday morning that Flynn's attorneys told him the former adviser won't obey a subpoena to cooperate as part of the panel's Russian Federation probe. Richard Burr, announced that Flynn would not be complying with the Senate's subpoena - although he later walked that back by saying that he'd not yet gotten a "definitive answer" from Flynn's lawyer.

Burr told reporters earlier on Thursday that Flynn's lawyers had said he would not honour the subpoena issued in connection with the committee's investigation into Russian Federation and the 2016 USA presidential election. "Consistent with the Committee's position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate".

The committee said it sent a letter requesting material from the FBI and Justice Department related to its ongoing counterintelligence investigation. Flynn, through his lawyer, had earlier asked for immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for agreeing to cooperate with the committee. Flynn's attorneys had said in the past that he might not turn over requested documents.

The Senate subpoenaed the former National Security Adviser last week as part of an investigation of President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) of the Senate Intelligence Committee have publicly said that so far they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, a Barack Obama appointee held over for the start of the new administration but fired by Trump, said under oath this month that she warned the White House that Flynn had been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that he could potentially be blackmailed by Russians over his misleading claims.

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To be sure, impeachment sets a high bar: a majority in the House, then two-thirds in the Senate to convict and remove an official. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which is very different - it doesn't only have to consider criminal activity".

Flynn, who served as a key adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign and transition and ended up in a top White House post, albeit briefly, has become a key figure in the probe into Russia's role in the election and whether it colluded with Trump's campaign.

While Flynn's official response remains unclear, any decision to fully decline a congressional panel's subpoena is "not an option that he has legally", said Josh Chafetz, a professor of law at Cornell Law School and author of Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers. Page shared a copy of his letter with the AP.

"General Flynn's attorneys have not yet indicated their intentions regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee's subpoena", the Republican chairman of the panel said in a statement.

Providing those records to the committee would provide authorities with "a lot more information and the legal basis for questioning him about them", she said.

Other reports by BadHub

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