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Ex-Trump aide Flynn to defy Senate subpoena in Russia probe

By AFP   |   22 May 2017   |   4:31 pm  

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 10, 2017 shows Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (ret.), National Security Advisor Designate speaks during a conference on the transition of the US Presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump at the US Institute Of Peace in Washington DC. President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn will not comply with a Senate subpoena for documents on his links to Russia and will invoke his constitutional protection against self-incrimination, a source close to Flynn said May 22, 2017.Flynn, a key target in the explosive probe into links between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, “will be asserting his rights under the Fifth Amendment,” the source told AFP. / AFP PHOTO / CHRIS KLEPONIS

President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn will not comply with a Senate subpoena for documents on his links to Russia and will invoke his constitutional protection against self-incrimination, a source close to Flynn said Monday.

Flynn, a key target in the explosive probe into links between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, “will be asserting his rights under the Fifth Amendment,” the source told AFP.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which has demanded Flynn turn over records of any contacts with Russia by Wednesday, will be informed of his response and reasons in a letter later Monday.

Flynn, a former defense intelligence chief who joined the Trump administration but was fired within weeks, is a key figure of interest in several probes into what US intelligence says was Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Investigators are examining Flynn’s paid trip to Moscow to attend a gala in 2015 where he sat with President Vladimir Putin, and his multiple communications with Russia’s US ambassador last December after the election.

According to the source, if Flynn complies with the documents subpoena, he risks giving up the ability to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights if he is ordered to testify in any of the investigations.

In late March, Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said the retired lieutenant general would not testify without “assurances against unfair prosecution,” raising speculation he was seeking an immunity deal.

“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” Kelner said in a March 30 statement.

“No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”



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