WASHINGTON (AP) — Ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will not honor a subpoena issued by a Senate committee looking into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the panel’s chairman said Thursday.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina told reporters that Flynn’s lawyer has informed the panel he will not abide by a subpoena for private documents.
The decision comes as no surprise, legal experts say, given that Flynn would be waiving his constitutional protection against self-incrimination by turning over personal documents to the committee. Flynn, though his lawyer, had earlier asked for immunity from “unfair prosecution” in exchange for agreeing to cooperate with the committee.
“We’ll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step if any is,” Burr said. The Senate committee is one of several on Capitol Hill investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Flynn is also the target of other congressional investigations as well as an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe and a grand jury inquiry. Flynn was fired from his position as Trump’s national security adviser in February. At the time, Trump said he fired Flynn because he misled senior administration officials, including the vice president, about his contacts with Russian officials.
Nina Ginsberg, a veteran Washington defense attorney with extensive experience in national security cases, said that without an ironclad immunity deal from the committee, Flynn would have been exposed to questioning from investigators about any personal documents he gave up.
Providing those records to the committee would provide authorities with “a lot more information and the legal basis for questioning him about them,” she said.