Ex-CIA chief concerned over Trump campaign Kremlin contacts

Cummings says documents prove Mike Flynn lied on his security clearance

After former USA national security adviser Michael Flynn refused to produce documents on supposed links to Russian interference with the U.S. presidential election, the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday it would subpoena two of Flynn's businesses.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, recused himself from the panel's Russian Federation investigations after the House Committee on Ethics announced it was investigating Nunes for disclosing classified information.

Brennan told the House intelligence committee on Tuesday that he was the first US official to call out the Russians for their activities.

"It does us no good in having people pleading the Fifth if we are trying to get information", Burr said. "If you're innocent, why do you take the Fifth Amendment?"

In the court of public opinion, however, the implications are all too clear.

"I hope Gen Flynn decides to comply with our Intel Committee subpoena to produce business documents", Florida senator Marco Rubio tweeted on Tuesday.

"I think we need to use whatever compulsory mechanism (is) necessary to get the information that he possesses", the lawmaker said. "The investigation will go on".

Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican on the intelligence panel, said Flynn's decision would not stop the committee's investigation, tweeting: "It is Mike Flynn's right to plead the 5th".

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Brennan's testimony before the House intelligence committee on Tuesday comes one day after Flynn invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination in response to a subpoena from the Senate intelligence committee.

Former CIA Director John Brennan told Congress Tuesday he personally warned Russia last summer against interfering in the US presidential election and was so concerned about Russian contacts with people involved in the Trump campaign that he convened top counterintelligence officials to focus on it. Cummings has been pushing Chaffetz to issue a subpoena demanding the documents.

Brennan declined to identify Trump campaign officials who had contact with Russian officials, saying that the information was classified and had been provided to the committee on a classified basis. The attorneys argue that complying with the subpoena would amount to a "testimonial act".

A portion of the letter from former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's attorneys to the Senate Intelligence Committee is photographed in Washington, Monday, May 22, 2017. Last year, for instance, the Senate approved by 96-0 a resolution authorizing legal action to enforce a subpoena issued by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which was probing alleged sex trafficking at the Backpage.com website.

Turley says the Senate would likely argue that Flynn's situation is more like the one in Fisher v. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

"It is not our plan today to offer immunity", Burr said Tuesday. He offered to testify to the Senate in exchange for immunity, we have no reason to believe he didn't make the same offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation... "They ought to work with the committee".

Since then, Trump has fired Comey; the DOJ has appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI's Russian investigation; and an almost-daily wave of news reports have emerged that allege the president or his advisers tried to blunt or end the FBI's investigation.

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