- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn told Congress on Monday he won’t turn over documents investigators are seeking in their probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.

Mr. Flynn also said he won’t testify before the panel, the Senate intelligence committee said, citing communications from Mr. Flynn’s lawyer.

The rejection elevates the questions about Mr. Flynn, who was President Trump’s top security adviser until his abrupt resignation weeks into the new administration. The White House said Mr. Flynn lied to the vice president about contacts with Russia, but subsequent reports say he has been under investigation for months and the White House was aware of the probe at the time he took the top security post.

With multiple congressional probes and a Justice Department special counsel investigating, Mr. Flynn has indicated he doesn’t believe he can get a fair shake.

The top Democrat on one of those congressional probes, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, said Monday he has evidence that Mr. Flynn lied in his security clearance process in early 2016.

Mr. Cummings said Mr. Flynn told background check investigators last March that American companies paid for a 2015 trip to Moscow. Mr. Cummings said the trip was actually paid for by RT, a television network that gets funding from the Russian government.

Mr. Cummings called RT “the Russian media propaganda arm.”

The congressman released portions of the background check report, highlighting parts where Mr. Flynn said he had not received “any benefit from a foreign country,” nor did he have “any connections with any foreign government or foreign government officials.”

The White House has said the vetting of Mr. Flynn took place under Mr. Obama, but Mr. Cummings wants to get a look at what the Trump transition team and then the Trump White House did with respect to the controversial security adviser.

The congressman said the Oversight Committee should issue subpoenas to the White House to get documents.

Meanwhile, senators said they wished Mr. Flynn would have complied with their subpoena.

“While we recognize General Flynn’s constitutional right to invoke the Fifth Amendment, we are disappointed he has chosen to disregard the committee’s subpoena request for documents relevant and necessary to our investigation,” intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat, said in a joint statement.

“We will vigorously pursue General Flynn’s testimony and his production of any and all pertinent materials pursuant to the committee’s authorities,” the senators said.

 

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