The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas on Wednesday for testimony, documents, and business records from former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of an investigation into the interference of Russia in the 2016 presidential elections. According to The Hill, one subpoena seeks information about Susan Rice, President Obama’s former national security adviser, and activities related to documents that included the names of members of the Trump campaign.
Four of the subpoenas are related directly to Russian meddling, which is also the subject of probes from the Senate Intelligence Committee and FBI. Representatives Mike Conaway and Adam Schiff, who are leading the House Intel’s inquiry, made a joint statement.
“As part of our ongoing investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 campaign, today we approved subpoenas for several individuals for testimony, personal documents and business records… We hope and expect that anyone called to testify or provide documents will comply with that request, so that we may gain all the information within the scope of our investigation. We will continue to pursue this investigation wherever the facts may lead.”
A separate FBI probe that was led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller and the latest actions of the committee prove lawmakers have not given up their own Russia investigations. Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein on May 17.
In addition to approving subpoenas for Flynn and Cohen, the committee also approved them for their companies, Flynn Intel Group LLC and Michael D. Cohen & Associates PC. Congressional sources described the action as “separate” from the committee’s Russia probe.
Chairman Devin Nunes issued subpoenas to the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency for information about how the names of Trump campaign officials were “unmasked” in classified intelligence reports from those agencies. Specifically, the subpoenas issued by Nunes seek information about requests made by former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice for the campaign aides’ names to be disclosed in those classified reports.
According to a senior committee aide who was not authorized to speak publicly, Nunes issued those subpoenas without agreement from Democrats. In April, Nunes stepped aside from the Russia probe, which is now being led by Conaway. Nunes was criticized for speaking publicly about classified surveillance reports he reviewed during his time at the White House.
Three of the subpoenas were directed to the CIA, FBI, and NSA over the unmasking claims.
House Intel Committee issues its first subpoenas in Russia probe, for Michael Flynn and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen https://t.co/jTjrt2UALH
— CNN (@CNN) May 31, 2017
The “unmasking” issue has been raised by the White House and by Trump supporters that the investigation has been politically motivated. However, Democrats have largely dismissed this issue as an attempt to divert attention from possible collusion by Trump campaign officials with the Russians.
On Tuesday, Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, acknowledged that he is resisting a request from congressional investigators seeking information from him about possible contacts with Russia. Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday about the House committee’s latest action.
Cohen’s name surfaced last year in an unsubstantiated dossier prepared by a former British intelligence agent, alleging that the lawyer attended a meeting in Prague to discuss Russia’s targeting of Democrats for hacking operations.
BREAKING: AP source: Ex-National Security Adviser Flynn will provide some documents under subpoena to Senate intelligence panel.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 30, 2017
On Tuesday, Cohen gave the following statement in a text message to USA Today:
“To date, there has not been a single witness, document or piece of evidence linking me to this fake Russian conspiracy… This is not surprising to me because there is none! I declined the invitation (by the Senate and House Intelligence panels) to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered.”
On Tuesday, it was reported by CNN that Flynn would provide documents requested by the Senate intelligence committee. The initial batch is due by June 6, a person close to Flynn said Tuesday.
Two subpoenas were sent to his businesses. Flynn will also provide personal documents sought via a separate subpoena after Senate investigators narrowed the scope of the request.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]