Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

House panel issues subpoenas for Flynn, others

Erik Tate | 08 June, 2017, 06:18

The special counsel overseeing the government's investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation has approved former FBI director James Comey to testify before a Senate committee pursuing the same matter, a Comey associate said Wednesday.

Trump fired Flynn in February amid questions about whether he inappropriately talked about USA sanctions against Russia with a Russian official and then misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about those talks.

Sessions, a close Trump adviser, withdrew from the Russian Federation investigation in March after acknowledging two previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak last summer and fall.

In addition to the two meetings that Sessions has acknowledged, the senators pointed to the possibility of a separate encounter at an April 2016 Trump campaign event that Sessions and Kislyak attended.

A Comey associate, who wasn't authorized to discuss details of the testimony, told The Associated Press that Robert Mueller III, who was appointed earlier this month by the Department of Justice to lead the government's inquiry, is allowing Comey to make certain statements.

The committee has ordered lawyer Michael Cohen and security adviser Michael Flynn to appear before them and supply documents.

The White House has denied those characterizations. No date for testimony has been set.

Eyebrows were already raised amid reports that senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, tried to establish a secret communications channel with the Russians in December.

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Interviewed later on the "PBS NewsHour" program, he said there might be a "benign" explanation for Kushner's proposal for a backchannel with Russian Federation, but added, "One wonders if there might be something more nefarious".

Mr Cohen said he turned down a request for information from the House intelligence committee looking into the Russian interference. He remains chairman, but Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, is now leading the probe.

The subpoenas related to the committee's unmasking investigation were issued by Nunes alone.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will hand over documents in his possession related to his dealings with Russian Federation, his legal team said Tuesday.

The panel, headed by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., issued four subpoenas relating to the actual Russian Federation investigation, both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported. The subpoenas reportedly focus on requests made by former national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

There is disagreement about whether those three subpoenas were issued without the knowledge of committee Democrats. Republicans have implied the unmasking of Trump associates could have been politically motivated. If the answer is yes, they want Coats to order a review of the potential damage to national security. The person says Flynn plans to produce documents by next week.

The chairman and vice chairman of the committee, Sen.

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