Friday, 17 August, 2018

House panel issues subpoenas for Flynn, others

Melinda Barton | 03 June, 2017, 01:14

The House Intelligence Committee has approved subpoenas for two associates of President Donald Trump along with their respective businesses as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Among them is one-time Trump campaign surrogate, Boris Epshteyn, and Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

A senior committee aide said any subpoenas related to unmasking were not part of the Russian Federation probe run by Conaway and Schiff.

The special counsel overseeing the government's investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation has approved former FBI director James Comey to testify before a Senate committee pursuing the same matter, a Comey associate said Wednesday. Mike Conaway (R-Tex.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in a joint statement.

"I leaked nothing, to nobody, and never have and never would", Rice said.

The dual investigations of President Trump's White House-both Congress and the DoJ are investigating him-are continuing to gear up. The aide later retracted the statement.

The Senate intelligence committee announced Comey's appearance, and a Comey associate said he had been cleared to testify by Robert Mueller, another former FBI director now overseeing that investigation as special counsel.

Meanwhile, Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, told the AP that he turned down a request for information from the House intelligence committee looking into the Russian interference.

When last we heard from Michael Flynn's lawyer, Mr. Flynn was not only refusing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee without a guarantee of immunity, but also refusing to admit that emails and documents concerning his Russian Federation connection even existed.

Flynn had previously refused a subpoena from the committee, with his lawyers asserting the request was too broad in what it was seeking. The initial batch is due by June 6, a person close to Flynn said Tuesday.

The Associated Press has learned of Flynn's cooperation that was the first signal that he and the Senate panel have found common ground.

The narrowed request focuses more closely on documents that the committee believes exist.

The action to issue the unmasking subpoenas "would have been taken without the Minority's agreement". In that role, Flynn was reportedly paid more than $500,000, but failed to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department.

The other, Flynn Intel Group LLC, was used to accept money from Mr Flynn's paid speeches.

"Russian officials must be laughing at the USA & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News", Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter. It marked the first time the White House officially acknowledged that outside counsel had been retained. He left in March and now works as a political analyst for right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting.

A similar back-and-forth occurred before the testimony last month of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, though the White House said it did not try to block her appearance.

"When you deal with sensitive intelligence, you can't be unscripted", Sen.

The Democratic National Committee last week demanded that Trump immediately fire Kushner and called for a criminal investigation.

President Donald Trump will focus on America's trade deficit with Vietnam when he meets Wednesday with the nation's prime minister, stepping up engagement with a region shaken by US withdrawal from a regional trade pact negotiated by his predecessor.

Trump has been dismissive of probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several congressional panels.

Presidents are in fact legally empowered to classify and declassify information at their discretion.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

This file handout photo taken on May 10, 2017 made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry shows US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC.

Presidential transition questions have been raised - including by Republicans on the committee - about why those names weren't redacted and were distributed between intelligence agencies during the transition period between the two presidential administrations.

Heinrich, joined by Sens.