Flynn invokes Fifth Amendment to avoid Senate testimony


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on ongoing investigations into Russia’s alleged interference with the U.S. election (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Attorneys for Michael Flynn say that a daily “escalating public frenzy against him” and the Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel have created a legally dangerous environment for him to cooperate with a Senate investigation.

That’s according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press that was written on behalf of the former national security adviser under President Donald Trump. The letter, sent Monday by Flynn’s legal team to the Senate Intelligence committee, lays out the case for Flynn to invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and his decision not to produce documents in response to a congressional subpoena.

The letter says that the current context of the Senate’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election threatens that “any testimony he provides could be used against him.”

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2 p.m.

A Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee says “we will get to the truth one way or another” even though former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is citing Fifth Amendment protections in the panel’s investigation into Russia.

Sen. James Lankford tweeted that it is Flynn’s right to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination as part of the probe into interference in the 2016 elections.

The Oklahoma lawmaker tweeted: “We need facts, not speculation & anonymous sources.”

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Flynn’s move was “unfortunate but not unexpected” and the committee would gain information in other ways.

A person with direct knowledge of the matter says Flynn is citing Fifth Amendment protections. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss private interactions.

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9:30 a.m.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday as he notifies the Senate Intelligence committee that he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents.

That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private interactions between Flynn and the committee.

Flynn’s decision comes less than two weeks after the committee issued a subpoena for Flynn’s documents as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Legal experts have said Flynn was unlikely to turn over the personal documents without immunity because he would be waiving some of his constitutional protections by doing so. Flynn has previously sought immunity from “unfair prosecution” to cooperate with the committee.

-AP reporter Chad Day

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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