Ranking House intel Dem: Subpoenas coming after Flynn denies request

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 29, 2017

Former CIA Director John Brennan says he personally warned Russian Federation last summer against interfering in the US presidential election.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian Federation tried to tilt the November presidential election campaign in Republican Donald Trump's favour, including hacking into and leaking emails of senior Democrats.

Trump has continued to deny collusion with the foreign government and has tried to enlist USA agencies and officials to contest such stories, according to national news reports.

And since the last hearing Trump fired Comey, the Department of Justice appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation and it was revealed the president allegedly tried to halt the FBI's investigation into his former national security adviser, who was sacked over conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.

On May 18, Reuters reported that Flynn and other advisers to Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, citing current and former US officials.

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 the possibility of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"One can argue the point that a stronger president is able to have an accommodation with Russian Federation out of strength as opposed to out of weakness", Brennan replied.

Brennan briefed President Barack Obama and Trump in January on an intelligence community report revealing that Putin had personally ordered an "influence campaign" targeting the presidential election. A spokesman for the committee declined comment on whether Page would testify.

The New York Times reports that Flynn's lawyers informed the Intelligence Committee in a letter that the accusations against him, as well as the appointment of a special counsel overseeing the Department of Justice investigation into Russia's election interference, gave him "reasonable cause to apprehend danger" if he were to comply with the subpoena.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee issued two additional subpoenas to businesses of ousted Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of several key figures in the Russia-Trump campaign probe, and sent a letter to his lawyer questioning his basis for claiming a Fifth Amendment right not to provide documents.

Flynn was forced to resign after it became public knowledge that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the transition period. One memo reportedly shows Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau's investigation into Flynn's Russian Federation ties.

Brennan's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee gave a much clearer view of how seriously United States intelligence took the Russian threat, and why the FBI began investigating it in July, well before the American public was aware of the allegations.

Brennan's confirmation of contacts between Russian officials and members of Trump's team, increased the pressure on investigators to determine whether the Trump camp colluded with the Russians.

"It was our preference initially to get these documents and testimony voluntarily", Schiff said.

Briefing reporters following a closed-door intelligence meeting on Tuesday, Sens.

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