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US Senate panel still negotiating with Flynn over documents: congressional aides

US Senate panel still negotiating with Flynn over documents: congressional aides

NY [U.S.], May 19:: Senate Intelligence Committeee Chairman Richard Burr has accused the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, of not cooperating with the investigation into Russians meddling in the U.S. Presidential election.

Nina Ginsberg, a veteran Washington defense attorney with extensive experience in national security cases, said that without an ironclad immunity deal from the committee, Flynn would have been exposed to questioning from investigators about any personal documents he gave up. Earlier, Burr had said Flynn's lawyers say Flynn would not honor that subpoena.

Burr told reporters earlier Thursday about the response from Flynn's lawyer. "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is", the Senate Intelligence Committee chair said.

The North Carolina senator later clarified his statement, leaving the question of whether Flynn would comply with the subpoena up in the air.

President Donald Trump is assailing the naming of a special counsel as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" Flynn's attorneys had said in the past that he might not turn over requested documents.

Flynn's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment or confirmation.




What would happen if Flynn really were to ignore the committee's subpoena?

The relevant statute, 2 U.S.C. ยง 194, directs the President of the Senate (Vice President Mike Pence or, in his absence, president pro tempore Orrin Hatch) to certify the contempt statement of facts to the "to the appropriate United States attorney, whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action".

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) didn't want to get ahead of the intelligence committee leaders, but said he plans to look into "tools" the Senate can use to pressure Flynn. "I hope you can let this go".

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week, prompting some to call for an independent prosecutor to lead the investigation.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was sacked from his position as Trump's national security adviser in February.

Earlier Thursday, Reuters news agency cited unnamed current and former U.S. officials as saying that Trump election campaign advisers allegedly "were in contact with Russian officials" during "the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race".


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