February 21, 2018

Senate intel panel subpoenas Michael Flynn documents

15 May 2017, 12:53 | Felicia Parsons

File FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress to answer"important questions about the Hillary Clinton email investigation

File FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress to answer

As President Donald Trump faces a mounting number of government crises, he took time to praise Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser was recently subpoenaed by the Senate and who he fired earlier this year for misleading the Vice President about contacts with Russian Federation.

After sending a request for the documents on April 28, the Senate Intelligence Committee moved to seize them with what amounts to a court order after Flynn's lawyer rebuffed their request.

"The subpoena requests documents relevant to the committee's investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election", the press release said.

Flynn was sacked by Trump in February after it emerged he had lied about his interactions with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in December, the day President Barack Obama had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in US polls.

Amidst a raging political storm, Comey told his colleagues that the President had the right to sack him for any reason "or for no reason at all" and that he had come to terms with it.

Flynn and other associates of President Donald Trump have received similar requests from the committee for information and documents over the past few weeks.

Undisclosed payments that Flynn received from Russian-backed entities have also inspired questions from lawmakers looking into allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The Senate committee also sent document requests to Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former adviser Roger Stone, and former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, according to Newsweek.

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Asked again late last month in a CBS News interview whether he believes Russian Federation tried to interfere in the election, Trump said "I don't know".

Politico reports that Flynn's attorneys told the committee that the former general would not cooperate with the investigation unless he was granted immunity.

The news of the subpoena comes as multiple investigations by Congress, the FBI, and Justice Department into Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election gathered steam.

Mr Flynn, who was sacked from his White House position in February after lying about phone calls he had with Mr Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the U.S., is under investigation in Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Pentagon over his dealings with Russians dating back to late 2005.

"No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution", he said.

Other congressional committees and the Pentagon's inspector general are also separately examining whether Flynn was fully forthcoming about his foreign contacts and earnings from organizations linked to the governments of Russian Federation and Turkey.

In January, the US intelligence community - including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA and the NSA - published a declassified report which alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to undermine faith in the American electoral process.

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