The Senate Intelligence Committee is back from August recess and back to work on the Russia investigation. The committee has taken its role in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election seriously. The Senate panel has gathered thousands of documents and talked to many people with knowledge of or involved with the investigation. Much of the testimony has been voluntary although the committee has issued subpoenas when necessary. As of Tuesday, it seems that at least one of those subpoenas will be ignored.
The Former National Security Adviser
During the 2016 election, Michael Flynn was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. He made regular appearances at campaign rallies and even led the occasional “lock her up” chant. He was loyal to Donald Trump and became one of his most trusted advisers. His loyalty was repaid by a high ranking White House position. Over the objections of many, and the express warning of former President Obama, Donald Trump appointed Flynn his National Security adviser.
Flynn’s tenure in the White House was short-lived. The acting attorney general at the time expressly warned the White House that Flynn was susceptible to black mail from Russians and that the Department of Justice had serious concerns about him. Still, the president left him in his position for another two and a half weeks after the warning. Once news of the exchange broke, and reports that Flynn had inappropriate contacts with Russians went public, the White House gave into pressure, asking Flynn to resign.
The president went to great lengths to protect Flynn. Trump sought the advice of former FBI director James Comey before firing Flynn. Afterward, the president seemed genuinely upset that Flynn was gone. As the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections got underway, Flynn became a central figure of interest.
Flynn was first subpoenaed and refused to cooperate in May. Flynn’s lawyers sent a letter saying that he would agree to testify if he was granted immunity. The Senate Intelligence Committee stated that they would not offer protection, so Flynn pled the fifth amendment and refused to testify before the committee at that time.
CNN reported Tuesday that the Senate Intelligence Committee had renewed its request to have Flynn answer questions. Flynn again refused this request to appear as a witness before the Senate Intelligence Committee. However, Flynn has turned over hundreds of documents in response to a congressional subpoena.