After President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, both said they were troubled by his decision. A day later, they sent a signal that they intend to forge ahead with their investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia when they subpoenaed documents from former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday, Burr and Warner said the subpoena covers documents related to the committee’s investigation into Russia’s alleged election meddling. Flynn was forced to resign after misleading other Trump administration officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition. Concerns have also been raised about undisclosed payments Flynn received from the Russia-backed TV network RT, and his unregistered lobbying that may have benefited Turkey, which took place when he was advising the Trump campaign.
The senators said they requested the documents on April 28, but Flynn “declined, through counsel, to cooperate with the Committee’s request.”
A day earlier, Burr said the committee was prepared to issue a subpoena – the first from the Intelligence Committee since the investigation of 9/11 – though they would prefer not to. “I think the most severe [option] would be a subpoena,” he said. “I think that the vice chairman and I have, from the beginning, believed that we would make more progress faster with voluntary participation by witnesses, so we have gone to all lengths to exhaust their willingness to do that.”
In March, Flynn’s lawyer floated the idea that he would testify before the committee in exchange for an immunity, but it didn’t appear that the FBI or the intelligence committees had any interest in offering him a deal.