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Michael Flynn's businesses to be subpoenaed

May 24, 2017

The former US national security adviser refused to produce documents after he was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. But the panel's vice-chair says a business 'does not have the right to take the Fifth.'

USA Michael Flynn beim Briefing im Weißen Haus in Washington
Image: Reuters/C. Barria

After former US national security adviser Michael Flynn refused to produce documents on supposed links to Russian interference with the US presidential election, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday it would subpoena two of Flynn's businesses.

"While we disagree with General Flynn's lawyers' interpretation of taking the Fifth [Amendment]…it's even more clear that a business does not have a right to take the Fifth," said panel vice chairman Democrat Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution allows defendants to refrain from serving as witnesses against themselves in criminal proceedings. However, there may be a contempt of Congress action should Flynn continue to refuse to share the documents that were subpoenaed.

"We would like him to tell his story because he publicly said: 'I've got a story to tell.' We're allowing him that opportunity to tell it," said Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Warner and Burr said the committee would also send a letter to Flynn's attorney to push back against Flynn's refusal to comply.

Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after admitting that he failed to disclose the extent of his discussions with Russia's ambassador to the US and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations. Flynn is considered a key witness into accusations that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential election. Flynn previously offered to testify on supposed Russian influence in exchange for immunity. The Trump administration has strongly denied any collusion with Russia.

Trump: 'no collusion' with Russia

kbd/kl (AP, Reuters)