If Donald Trump thought he could make his Russia scandal go away by firing FBI Director James Comey yesterday, it appears to instead be having the opposite effect. Less than twenty-four hours later, the Senate Intelligence Committee – which had been accused by some of moving too slowly with its investigation – has responded by promptly sending a subpoena to Trump Russia star witness Michael Flynn.
The committee had previously requested two weeks ago that Flynn turn over all documents relevant to the Trump-Russia scandal, but he failed to comply. So now the committee has issued a bipartisan statement from chairman Richard Burr and ranking member Mark Warner, confirming that they’ve sent subpoena to Flynn requiring him to hand over the documents (link). This is a clear and swift escalation on the part of the committee, and puts Michael Flynn in the position of facing arrest and/or criminal prosecution if he fails to comply with the subpoena.
Flynn has already retroactively registered as a foreign agent after being caught having taken money from intermediaries of the governments of Russia and Turkey, meaning that he’s admitted his guilt in not having registered at the time. Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Adviser in February after it leaked to the media that he’d been discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period. So Flynn is likely sitting on quite a bit of evidence, and he should have a strong motivation to cooperate in exchange for leniency.
What stands out here is that Michael Flynn has long been acting as if he already had a deal in place with the FBI. But with Trump having fired Comey, it looks like the Senate Intel Committee isn’t taking any chances and is now going directly after Flynn in its own right. This is the precise opposite of what Trump was hoping for. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report