Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Ranking House intel Dem: Subpoenas coming after Flynn denies request

Former CIA Director John Brennan Former CIA Director John Brennan
Nellie Chapman | 31 May, 2017, 05:49

Brennan stopped short of saying that the communications he saw between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign amounted to actual collusion.

Separately, the top US intelligence official, Dan Coats, sidestepped a question on a Washington Post report that Trump had asked him and the National Security Agency chief to help him knock down the notion there was evidence of such collusion.

Controversy has engulfed Trump since he fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9 as Comey oversaw an investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Earlier Thursday, House oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz told acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he wants records of Comey's contacts with the White House and Justice Department dating to September 2013, when Comey was sworn in as FBI director under President Barack Obama.

The report Wednesday says the Russians zeroed in on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, a former head of USA military intelligence who was a key Trump campaign adviser.

It's rare for a single quote to tell you something genuinely new and important about a story as big as the Trump-Russia scandal. What's more, Brennan said, "this committee has access to the documents we would have provided to the bureau". At one point Gowdy demanded to know whether the evidence of collusion was "circumstantial or direct". Rep. Michael Conaway, a Republican from Texas, is now leading the probe.

Flynn on Monday refused the committee's initial subpoena for documents, claiming the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, and citing the "escalating public frenzy" surrounding the request.

US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the election campaign in Trump's favor, including by hacking into the emails of senior Democrats. "One is in the process of being served", Warner said.

Brennan's interlocutor denied any Russian interference but said he would pass on the warning to President Vladimir Putin, the ex-CIA chief said. Brennan was careful to avoid explicitly saying that the two sides colluded, and said the Trump aides may not have even known the Russians were spies.

The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Flynn's personal documents on May 10, after he declined to cooperate with an April 28 request from the panel in relation to its investigation of Russian interference in the election and possible ties to Trump associates.

He was sacked from his position at the White House in February, after less than a month on the job, for failing to disclose the content of talks with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Brennan said he believed he was the first USA official to raise the matter of election interference with the Russians, citing an August 4, 2016 phone call he had with the head of Russia's FSB, Alexander Bortnikov. "We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said, 'I've got a story to tell.' We're allowing him that opportunity to do it". Support for Trump appears to have dropped among Americans of all political stripes.

So, you indicated that you saw, when asked about whether or not you'd seen evidence of collusion or collaboration, you said that you saw intelligence that indicated there had been contacts with individuals, with Russians, that were of a nature that bore investigation.

Coats said that "I don't feel it's appropriate to characterize discussions and conversations with the president". The congressional Republicans' efforts - like Trump's - backfired, showing that it's becoming ever harder for them to keep trying to make this investigation go away.

WASHINGTON ― Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's assertion of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply to his businesses and documents, and he could be subject to a contempt charge if he doesn't turn related materials over to the Senate Intelligence Committee, committee leaders said on Tuesday.