Senate panel chair: Flynn won't honor subpoena

Cheryl Sanders
May 19, 2017

Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Thursday that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has not yet told the committee how he will respond to its subpoena for documents related to Flynn's interactions with Russian Federation.

The top Democrat and Republican on a House oversight committee have said Flynn likely broke federal law by failing to get approval from the US government to accept foreign payments, including $33,000 in 2015 from RT, Russia's state-sponsored television network.

Ousted Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will not honor a subpoena issued by a Senate committee looking into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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Earlier Thursday, Burr said a lawyer for Flynn informed the Senate Intelligence Committee he will not honor its subpoena for private documents. "Consistent with the Committee's position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate".

Burr told reporters earlier on Thursday that Flynn's lawyers had said he would not honor the subpoena issued in connection with the committee's investigation into Russian Federation and the 2016 US presidential election. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's counterterrorism probe took on added significance after President Donald Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey last week amid allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

President Donald Trump is assailing the naming of a special counsel as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

The Senate committee reportedly is after documents in the retired lieutenant general's possession relating to Russian Federation. Flynn reportedly had six undisclosed phone calls with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. Following the election, Flynn had reportedly discussed with Kislyak the potential of establishing a back channel communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that would circumvent the USA national security community, Reuters reports. It's an implied power of the president, upheld by the Supreme Court in USA v. Nixon, which maintained the executive branch has limited privilege to avoid subpoena.

In March, the committee rejected Flynn's request for immunity from prosecution.

Flynn's lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.

On April 1, the Senate panel turned down the offer, according to NBC News. (Interestingly, the current U.S. Attorney for D.C. Channing Phillips was not yet asked to resign because of the nature of his appointment.) Flynn, however, is not a current official and, recent federal grand jury subpoenas to Flynn's associates were issued by the Eastern District of Virginia.

If Flynn declines to comply with the subpoena, the intelligence committee could have little legal recourse. "You can not have the political process put someone in jeopardy". From there, the contempt charge would be debated in the full Senate and would receive a vote.

Just as the Supreme Court has long recognized congressional subpoena power, so too has it upheld the enforcement power of contempt.

Other reports by iNewsToday