According to the Associated Press, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refuse to comply with a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence committee seeking documents. AP said its source was a person with direct knowledge of the matter who wished to remain anonymous.
Flynn is consulting with attorneys likely because he doesn’t want to get caught in a trap; his refusal to testify is not necessarily an admission of guilt.
Roughly two weeks ago, the committee issued the subpoena in order to elicit information pertaining to its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Chairman Richard Burr, (R-NC) said, “Everything has been voluntary up to this point, and we’ve interviewed a lot of people, and I want to continue to do it in a voluntary fashion. But if in fact the production of things that we need are not provided, then we have a host of tools.”
If Flynn released the personal documents, he would relinquish immunity because he would waive some of his constitutional protections by doing so. Flynn had claimed he had asked for “assurances against unfair prosecution” so he could give interviews to congressional panels investigating possible collusion between Trump aides and Moscow.
Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, said at the time, “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” adding that there had been “vicious innuendo” against Flynn in the news media and that “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.”
Yet Jack Langer, a spokesman for the House intelligence panel denied that the committee had received a request for immunity, asserting, “No, Michael Flynn has not offered to testify to HPSCI in exchange for immunity.”