On Monday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn refused to honor a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee for documents connected to the investigation into its Russian probe. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right.
The committee has tried another way to receive the documents by issuing two subpoenas for two of Flynn’s former businesses. From Reuters:
“While we disagree with General Flynn’s lawyers’ interpretation of taking the Fifth … it’s even more clear that a business does not have a right to take the Fifth,” the panel’s vice chairman, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, told reporters, referring to Flynn’s decision to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) told the media that the lawmakers will use all the options on the table they can to get the documents they need for the investigation. From Politico:
“If in fact there’s not a response, we’ll seek additional counsel advice on how to proceed forward,” Burr said at a joint press briefing with Warner. “At the end of that option is a contempt charge, and I’ve said that everything is on the table.”
Burr added that the committee has sent a letter to Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, questioning his assertion that Flynn can invoke the Fifth Amendment when it comes to producing documents.
Flynn’s lawyer released this statement when he invoked the Fifth:
“The context in which the Committee has called for General Flynn’s testimonial production of documents makes it clear that he has more than a reasonable apprehension that any testimony he provides could be used against him,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote in a letter to Burr and Warner.
But Burr stressed that contempt of Congress will remain the last option they will use. Reuters continued:
“That’s not our preference today. We would like to hear from General Flynn. We would like to see his documents,” Burr said. “We would like him to tell his story because he publicly said: ‘I’ve got a story to tell.’ We’re allowing him that opportunity to tell it.”
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