Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

A look at Fifth Amendment protections invoked by Flynn

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday A look at Fifth Amendment protections invoked by Flynn
Sandy Vega | 23 May, 2017, 15:05

President Trump's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, refused Monday to comply with a Senate subpoena seeking records of his dealings with Russian Federation, invoking his constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

On Monday, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House oversight committee, cited inconsistencies in Mr. Flynn's disclosures to USA investigators during his security clearance review in early 2016.

But RT News, Russia's television network, reportedly funded Flynn's trip with $45,000 to attend a gala in Moscow and give a speech.

His relationship with officials in Moscow has been a focal point of the congressional investigations and Department of Justice probe into President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

Cummings suggested Chaffetz, who has been defensive of Trump despite his job running House Oversight, was trying to protect the administration by not pursuing the evidence.

Cummings made the statement in a letter dated May 22 to Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chair of the committee.

Two other former top Trump aides - Paul Manafort and Roger Stone - have complied with the committee's request for information, it was reported on Monday. Cummings' letter came the same day Flynn declined to provide documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination. A subpoena from the Senate intelligence committee requests a list of all contacts between Flynn and Russian officials over an 18-month period.

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The intelligence committee is one of multiple congressional panels that are looking into Flynn's conduct as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. The payment from the media company came from a London-based bank to Flynn's speaker agency in the US but the hotel and lodging payments did not, Cummings wrote.

The retired Army Lieutenant general was sacked by President Donald Trump in February after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior official about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

You may remember a few weeks ago when committee chair Congressman Jason Chaffetz said that he's seen "no evidence" Flynn followed the law regarding his 2015 Russian Federation trip and the payment he received from RT. Flynn is also the target of other congressional investigations as well as an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe and a separate federal investigation in Virginia.

The latter option has not been used in 75 years, the report said, with Congress more often relying on the criminal contempt statute recently.us intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to sway the November vote in Trump's favour. In an interview with Defense Department officials on February 11, 2016, Flynn said he "has not received any benefit from a foreign country". The president's comments are in stark contrast to his harsh words during the 2016 campaign for people who received immunity or invoked the Fifth Amendment in the probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. His tenure is the shortest for a national security advisor.

Mr Flynn has previously sought immunity from what he described as "unfair prosecution" to cooperate with the committee.

"We stated that, absent such assurances, General Flynn would respectfully decline your request for an interview and for production of documents", they said. "We need facts, not speculation & anonymous sources".

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