Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination as he notifies a Senate panel that he won't hand over documents in the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, according to reports on Monday morning.
The Associated Press broke the news Monday morning, citing an unnamed source, and Fox News quickly confirmed it with its own unnamed sources.
The notification will come in a letter to the Senate Intelligence committee expected later Monday. The person providing details spoke on condition anonymity in order to discuss private interactions between Flynn and the committee.
Flynn's decision comes less than two weeks after the committee issued a subpoena for Flynn's personal documents.
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.
Fox News' Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge said there is a legal precedent that when records are provided to Congress, "it can be argued that they're testimonial in nature."
If Flynn had provided the records, she continued, he would have waived the "right against self-incrimination in the future."
The move indicates Flynn, "for the time being, will not be providing records to that Senate Intelligence Committee, in part, because of the highly charged political environment and the recent appointment of the special counsel for this case," Herridge continued.
Flynn's decision, she continued, appears to be the first example of how the decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling would affect the congressional hearings in the case.
"I would emphasize those close to Flynn to say that his decision not to provide these records is no confirmation or evidence of wrongdoing in this case," Herridge said.
She said, however, she does not know what would happen if Flynn refuses a subpoena from Mueller.
The Senate committee is one of several congressional inquiries investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. Flynn is also the target of other congressional investigations as well as an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe and a separate federal investigation in Virginia.
Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was fired from his position as Trump's national security adviser in February. At the time, Trump said he fired Flynn because he misled senior administration officials, including the vice president, about his contacts with Russian officials.
Members of key congressional committees are pledging a full public airing as to why former FBI Director James Comey was ousted amid an intensifying investigation into Russia's interference with the U.S. election.
In Sunday show appearances, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers said they will press Comey in hearings as to whether he ever felt that Trump tried to interfere with his FBI work. Others are insisting on seeing any White House or FBI documents that detail conversations between the two, following a spate of news reports that Comey had kept careful records.
Comey was fired by Trump earlier this month. The former FBI director agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee after the Memorial Day holiday.
This report contains material from The Associated Press.
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