Tags: Michael Flynn resignation | Trump Administration | Democrat | Senate | intelligence | Mark Warner

CNN: Dem Checking If Senate Can Hold Flynn in Contempt

Image: CNN: Dem Checking If Senate Can Hold Flynn in Contempt
Gen. Michael Flynn (AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 22 May 2017 05:13 PM

The ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee is leaving open the option to hold Gen. Michael Flynn in contempt of Congress, after the former national security adviser said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights rather than comply with a subpoena, CNN reported.

According to CNN, two other former Trump campaign officials have turned over documents to the Senate intelligence committee related to its investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. The Associated Press reported Flynn is expected to plead the Fifth Amendment as opposed to complying with the panel's subpoena.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Monday the panel needs legal guidance on a decision that would put Flynn at risk for jail.

"We have to find out whether we have the ability to either hold Gen. Flynn in contempt, or whether it's just Fifth Amendment," Warner told CNN. "I've got to get the legal answer to that first."

Warner told CNN he was "disappointed" Flynn did not produce the requested documents – and the intel panel was still weighing what other options they had to get them.

However, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, played down the chances of any contempt move.

"It's his constitutional right," the Senate majority whip said Monday, per The Hill.

"I don't criticize anybody for embracing their constitutional rights.

"The Fifth Amendment provides you an absolute right against self-incrimination. That's something he's entitled to do." 

According to The Washington Post, if the Senate panel voted to hold Flynn in contempt, the full Senate would be asked to weigh in on the matter.

And if the Senate agreed, it would then be referred to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington for criminal charges – putting Flynn at risk for a conviction for withholding the documents and facing prison time, regardless of what the documents say, the Post noted.

"Congressional interest in terms of pursuing contempt probably is influenced by the amount of public attention the matter is getting," Todd Bussert, a federal criminal defense attorney in Connecticut, told the Post.

"If there's a lot of attention given to a particular matter, they don't necessarily want to send the message that they're willing to let somebody flout the subpoena."

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The ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee is leaving open the option to hold Gen. Michael Flynn in contempt of Congress, after the former national security adviser said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights rather than comply with a subpoena, CNN reported.
Democrat, Senate, intelligence, Mark Warner
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2017-13-22
Monday, 22 May 2017 05:13 PM
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