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House panel will subpoena Flynn in Russian Federation probe

25 May 2017

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has denied a request for documents from House Russia investigators and the House intelligence committee is preparing to issue subpoenas against Flynn, the ranking Democrat on that committee said Wednesday.

"We will be following up with subpoenas, and those subpoenas will be created to maximise our chance of getting the information that we need".

The committee also sent a letter to Flynn's lawyer Tuesday addressing concerns that their original subpoena lacked specificity.

That comes after Flynn claimed his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination to try to fend off subpoenas from the Senate Intelligence Committee, leading that committee to issue a new pair of subpoenas this time aimed at Flynn's companies, which as corporations can't plead the Fifth, and warned they may move to hold him in contempt of Congress.

Schiff said the House panel had invited its first group of witnesses to testify, it is obtaining documents, and assessing who will cooperate voluntarily, and who will have to be subpoenaed. Schiff said requests for immunity are not something that his panel would entertain "until far later, if at all", and that they would need to consult with Bob Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice to investigate the matter, before taking action.

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Dan Coats, the current USA director of national intelligence, declined to comment Tuesday on a Washington Post report that said the president had asked him to publicly deny any collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign.

"I said we would use whatever compulsory process we need ... if the subpoenas are not adhered to in a way that is supported by their legal right then I think we need to explore whatever compulsion Congress for obtaining" those documents, Schiff said.

On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan told lawmakers he had noticed contacts between associates of Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the campaign and grew concerned Moscow had sought to lure Americans down "a treasonous path".

The attempts to compel Mr Flynn to produce documents were another sign of the intense focus on Mr Trump's former national security adviser, who was sacked in February after the White House said he misled administration officials, including vice president Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials.

Last week, USA media outlets revealed intelligence information indicating that the Russians privately were hoping to be able to influence the Trump administration through Flynn.

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In addition to the congressional scrutiny, Flynn is now a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation, a federal probe in Virginia and a Defense Department inspector general's inquiry into the propriety of foreign payments he accepted.

US congressional committees and a special counsel named by the Justice Department this month are investigating whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 USA election and collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Schiff said the House Intelligence Committee's investigation was back on track after the committee's chairman, Republican Devin Nunes of California, stepped aside as a result of an ethics investigation.

The threat stemmed from a claim Trump made in a May 9 letter firing FBI Director Comey that he was informed by Comey "on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation".

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House panel will subpoena Flynn in Russian Federation probe