Michael Flynn expected to invoke Fifth Amendment, source says
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn
won't provide records to the Senate intelligence committee and will invoke
his Fifth Amendment rights in response to a subpoena from the committee,
according to a source close to Flynn.
Flynn's refusal to cooperate comes as he faces scrutiny in several
inquiries, including on Capitol Hill and a federal grand jury that has issued
subpoenas to associates of the ex-national security adviser.
Flynn's refusal to cooperate will also intensify scrutiny over Trump's
decision to hire him initially for the job and his decision to keep him on staff
for 18 days after the President was warned by former acting Attorney
General Sally Yates that Flynn may have been compromised by the
The Senate committee had asked Flynn earlier this month to produce all
records over his communications with Russian officials by this Wednesday.
But Flynn is expected to send a letter later Monday invoking his Fifth
The source close to Flynn said it would be "highly imprudent for him not to
exercise his Fifth Amendment rights" given that several members of
Congress have called for his prosecution.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: 'I believe we should look into obstruction of justice'
The Associated Press first reported Flynn's plans to invoke the Fifth
Flynn's decision to decline the subpoena does not come as a surprise to
Senate intelligence leaders, as Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, also told the
panel last month he would not provide documents in response to an April
Flynn was back in the news last week following the revelation that former
FBI Director James Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had asked Comey
in a meeting to end his investigation into the former national security
Flynn resigned from the Trump White House in February after it was
revealed he'd misled White House officials over his conversations with
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which included communication about
Flynn previously sought immunity from the Senate committee in exchange
for his testimony. Leaders of both the Senate and House panels, which are
conducting separate investigations into Russia's election-year meddling,
rejected that request.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump blasted aides to Hillary Clinton for taking
the Fifth Amendment in relation to the investigation of her use of a private
email server while secretary of state. He said at a September Iowa rally: "So
there are five people taking the Fifth Amendment, like you see on the mob,
right? You see the mob takes the Fifth. If you're innocent, why are you
taking the Fifth Amendment?"
Comey now believes Trump was trying to influence him, source says
Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican on the intelligence panel,
said Flynn's decision would not stop the committee's investigation, tweeting:
"It is Mike Flynn's right to plead the 5th. We will get to the truth one way or
another. We need facts, not speculation & anonymous sources."
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate judiciary
committee and an intelligence panel member, said Flynn's decision was
"unfortunate but not unexpected."
"I believe both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees should continue to
seek other ways to gain access to this information," she said in a
statement. "Already (Judiciary) Chairman (Chuck) Grassley and I have sent
requests to the White House, FBI and Defense Department for memos,
recordings, notes and other documents. The investigation will go on."
Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence panel after
Flynn is one of several former Trump aides to whom Senate investigators
have sent requests for information to as part of the panel's investigation
into connections between Trump associates and Russian officials.
The panel has also sought documents from former campaign foreign policy
adviser Carter Page, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former
adviser Roger Stone.
The House intelligence panel, meanwhile, is requesting documents from
former Trump campaign communications adviser Michael Caputo.
I'll Plead the Fifth