House Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Michael Flynn and Rick Gates

June 14, 2019by Chris Megerian
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn arrives at U.S. District Court for his sentencing hearing on Dec. 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas to former national security advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates for documents and testimony Thursday, the latest salvo in Democrats’ efforts to follow up on the report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“Both Michael Flynn and Rick Gates were critical witnesses for special counsel Mueller’s investigation, but so far have refused to cooperate fully with Congress. That’s simply unacceptable. The American people, and the Congress, deserve to hear directly from these two critical witnesses,” said a statement from Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the committee chairman.

The subpoena marks the first time House Democrats have tried to compel testimony from people who pleaded guilty during the Russia investigation. Both have been asked to provide documents by June 26 and testify on July 10.

Flynn admitted to lying to investigators about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period. Gates also pleaded guilty to lying as well as conspiracy, two charges related to his work on behalf of Ukrainian interests. He worked closely with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman who was sentenced to prison for several crimes including bank fraud and tax evasion.

Both Flynn and Gates cooperated with Mueller’s office after cutting plea deals. Neither has been sentenced. Flynn is expected to serve as a witness in an upcoming trial for his former business partners, who are accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey. Gates is still helping prosecutors with “several ongoing investigations,” according to a recent court filing.

Democrats have struggled to obtain testimony from key witnesses in the Russia investigation, most notably Donald McGahn, the former White House counsel who could provide firsthand accounts of how the president tried to stanch the probe. However, a House vote earlier this week paved the way for lawmakers to attempt enforcing their subpoenas in court, and more legal fights could be ahead.

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