WASHINGTON – the Summons for the former National security adviser Michael Flynn piled up Wednesday as the House intelligence committee under pressure Flynn to work with her research in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
The prospect of the new congress subpoenas came a day after the committee of the Senate counterpart served its own subpoenas to Flynn’s companies. The FBI also faced with a deadline Wednesday to turn over memos written by former FBI-Director James Comey in which he presents his discussions with President Donald Trump. A memo reportedly shows Trump press Comey conclusion of the desk research to Flynn’s Russia ties.
During a breakfast Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the House intelligence committee’s top Democrat, told reporters that Flynn declined to turn over records to the committee, and he said it will be “with a subpoena.” Schiff did not elaborate on what materials the committee was looking for.
The efforts to force Flynn to produce documents were just another sign of the intense focus on Trump’s former national security adviser, who was fired in February after the White House said that he misled officials, including that of Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with the Russian officials.
In addition to the parliamentary control, Flynn is currently a victim of an FBI counter-investigation, a federal probe in Virginia, and a Department of Defense inspector general of the investigation into the propriety of foreign payments, which he accepted.
In a letter to the Senate committee on Monday, Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination in deflecting the panel subpoena for a wide range of documents and information relating to their contacts with Russians.
Flynn’s lawyers argued that the Senate’s request was too broad, and if Flynn were to comply, he could be the confirmation of the existence of a number of documents and, in fact, provide testimony that can be used against him. They also said an “escalation of the public frenzy” against Flynn and the appointment of a special council had made a legally hazardous environment for Flynn to provide information.
In response, the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday sent a letter narrowing its request for the documents. It is also issued subpoenas seeking documents from two of Flynn’s companies— Flynn Intel Group, Inc., a consulting firm owned by Flynn and his business partners, and Flynn Intel Group LLC, a company that he had used for other projects, such as his paid speeches.
Flynn could choose to contest the congressional subpoenas seeking his business records, but legal experts said that he would not prevail.
Solomon L. Wisenberg, a Washington lawyer who worked as a prosecutor during the Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, said both of Flynn’s corporate structures would probably be to turn over all business records are sought by the commission. “The Fifth Amendment privilege does not apply to business entities, period,” he said, adding that both the Supreme Court and the District of Columbia Circuit Court rulings would weigh on the committee’s side.
If the FEDS miss deadline to turn over memos and other materials documenting Comey, the interactions with the president, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has said that he would subpoena them if necessary. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House government oversight committee.
The FBI refused comment.
Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report.