The top two senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee are questioning whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn can invoke the fifth amendment to deny them the documents they’ve requested from him, in relation to their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that he and ranking member Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, sent a letter to Flynn, in response to his letter claiming the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. Flynn had invoked the privilege to reject the committee’s request for documents disclosing all of his contacts with Russian officials and businesses during the Trump campaign. But Burr and Warner questioned “whether you can take the Fifth, as it relates to document production.”
Burr also told reporters that the committee will not give Flynn immunity because the committee does not believe it’s the place of the committee to offer it. Flynn, in the letter released Monday, had also asked to be protected from unreasonable prosecution in exchange for his testimony. If Flynn does not comply, Burr threatened him with a contempt of Congress charge.
The two senators also addressed Flynn’s argument that the committee’s document request lacked specificity. To that end, Warner announced two new subpoenas to businesses associated with Flynn — Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel Inc. — both of which are located in Alexandria, Virginia. The committee asked for a specific list of documents from the businesses, arguing that corporations are not endowed with Fifth Amendment privileges.
Warner suggested that the committee would ask DNI Dan Coats to testify about his conversations with the president because of the “conflicted testimony” he and Burr had heard from Coats in an open hearing Tuesday. Coats was asked about reports that President Trump had asked him and former NSA Director Mike Rogers to deny publicly there is any evidence showing his campaign colluded with Russia. Coats and Rogers reportedly rejected the president’s requests.