On Wednesday the lawyer for former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that his client would not comply with a request to provide documentation on his relations with Russia. On Wednesday evening, the committee slapped Flynn with a subpoena.
Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and ranking Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., frustrated with the resistance to their investigative efforts by Trump associates, had said if Flynn did not comply they would take more aggressive action, including issuing subpoenas. Flynn, as well as Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, are at the heart of an investigation of collusion between Trump's team and Russian operatives.
Flynn “didn't turn those documents over, so we have subpoenaed those documents," committee member Sen. James Lankford told Fox News, noting that the senators had "subpoenaed a large number of documents."
The Senate Intelligence Committee, galvanized by almost daily revelations about Team Trump's ties to Russia and Tuesday's abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, has turned up the heat on its investigation, which had momentarily seemed to stall.
Comey was allegedly fired for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email probe but those claims were met with skepticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, who question the timing of his dismissal. The White House initially said that the initiative to fire Comey was instigated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was confirmed just two weeks ago (Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation though he resurfaced this week to advise that Comey be canned). The Washington Post, citing an anonymous source, reported that Rosenstein had threatened to resign after the White House pinned Comey's dismissal on him.
The administration switched gears late Tuesday to say that the president, who had earlier praised the former FBI director for his management of the Clinton case, had been mulling the dismissal. And rumors continue to swirl that Comey, known for his independence, was let go as the Russian probe accelerated and he refused to share his planned testimony with the president. The Post also painted a picture of a president angry and impatient with an FBI director whose loyalty and judgment he questioned.
Trump has questioned the accuracy of the intelligence community's findings that Russian operatives interfered with the presidential election – hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other Democratic interests, then releasing purloined communiques to WikiLeaks – in an effort to sway voters his way.