Former NSA aide Michael Flynn will cooperate with Senate panel

UPDATE — 6:12 p.m. EDT:  The House Committee on Intelligence has authorized subpoenas for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Similarly, the committee signed off on subpoenas to Flynn’s business, Flynn Intel LLC, and Cohen’s law firm, Michael D. Cohen and Associates PC.  

A joint statement released by panel members Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) stated the committee sought personal testimony, and both personal and business records from Flynn and Cohen.

 

In a reversal from his earlier resolution to plead the Fifth Amendment, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said he would begin cooperating with the Senate intelligence committee’s investigation on Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Flynn said in an email to the committee late Tuesday he would hand over some documents related to his businesses, Flynn Intel Group Inc. and Flynn Intel Group LLC, as well as personal documents beginning Tuesday, June 6.

The Senate Intelligence Committee had originally issued a subpoena to Flynn for documents on May 11.  After an 11-day delay, Flynn had stated on May 22 he would not cooperate with the Senate panel and would instead invoke his Fifth Amendment right.

Following the public announcement of his intent to avoid testimony, the committee subpoenaed Flynn’s business documents, which do not fall under the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

Flynn’s decision to hand over documents means a prolonged legal battle will likely be avoided. Although congressional subpoenas do not carry the weight of the court system, witnesses have successfully fought the writ and avoided appearing in front of congressional committees.

The former Army lieutenant general’s decision to begin cooperating with the Senate committee comes amid the revelation his firm, Flynn Intel Group, was paid by a close ally of Turkish President Recep Erdogan to assist in the production of a film which simultaneously targeted an Erdogan critic and promoted Erdogan’s image abroad.

Flynn’s firm was paid over $500,000 for its efforts by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, who is allied with Erdogan, but the film was never completed.

 

[Reuters via Business Insider] [NPR] [The Week] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Reuters via Mother Jones]