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Flynn to Invoke Fifth Amendment in Hearing

Michael FlynnMichael Flynn

The top two leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee are leaving the door open to holding Michael Flynn in contempt of Congress after US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights rather than comply with a subpoena.

Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the committee, said the panel was reviewing a range of options to compel Flynn to disclose records about his meetings with Russian officials, including holding Flynn in contempt. And he said the panel “could” call for Flynn to assert his right against self-incrimination in a public session, CNN reported. “It does us no good in having people pleading the Fifth if we are trying to get information. The only thing I can tell you is immunity is off the table,” Burr said.

Unlike Flynn, two other former Trump campaign officials have turned over documents to the committee related to its investigation of Russian meddling in the US election.

“The subpoena seeks to compel (Flynn) to offer testimony through the act of producing documents that may or may not exist. In these circumstances, (Flynn) is entitled to, and does, invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against production of documents,” Flynn’s lawyer wrote in a letter to the committee.

When asked by CNN whether his panel would hold Flynn in contempt, Ranking Democrat Sen. Mark Warner said, “We have to find out whether we have the ability to either hold Gen. Flynn in contempt or whether it’s just Fifth Amendment. I’ve got to get the legal answer to that first.”

Warner said he was “disappointed” Flynn didn’t produce the documents that were requested and the committee was still determining if it had other options to get hold of them.

Flynn’s refusal to cooperate comes as he faces scrutiny in several inquiries, including by Capitol Hill and a federal grand jury that has issued subpoenas to associates of the ex-national security adviser.

 

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