Michael Flynn issued with subpoena by Senate committee investigating Trump-Russia ties

It is the first subpoena announced by the committee in its investigation

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The Independent US

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a subpoena demanding documents related to Russia from President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, ramping up its  investigation of Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

In a joint statement, Senators Richard Burr, the committee's Republican chairman, and Mark Warner, its top Democrat, said the committee had first requested the documents from Mr Flynn in a 28 April letter, but the retired lieutenant general had declined, through counsel, to cooperate with the committee's request.

It was the first subpoena announced by the committee in its investigation.


Mr Warner said on Tuesday that the committee has been receiving documents as it investigates allegations that Russia sought to influence the US election, something Moscow denies. But he told Reuters that some people were not complying “so we were going to take next steps.”

The Trump administration denies any collusion with Russia.

Mr Flynn has been a focus of investigations into Russia and the election. He was forced to resign in February as Mr Trump's National Security Adviser for failing to disclose the content of his talks with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Mr Flynn's attorney Robert Kelner declined comment on the action. Mr Flynn had previously been in talks with the committee about agreeing to be interviewed as part of the investigation as long as he was granted immunity. 

In March, Mr Kelner said in a statement that Flynn had a “story to tell” but no reasonable person would agree to be questioned by the committee without “assurances against unfair prosecution.” 

Former Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates testified at a high-profile hearing on Monday that she had warned the White House in January that Mr Flynn had been compromised and could have been vulnerable to blackmail by Russia.

The subpoena was announced a day after Mr Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the bureau's investigation of Russia and the election. Mr Comey's firing prompted a storm of criticism from Democrats, who accused the president of seeking to stall the probe.

Some of Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, including Mr Burr, also expressed strong doubts about the timing of the President's actions.

Reuters

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