If former national security adviser Michael Flynn continues to refuse subpoenas to release his business records, the Senate Intelligence Committee will use "every tool" it has to get the information it needs for its investigation, Sen. James Lankford said Thursday.
"It is his right to be able to invoke the Fifth and not do self-incrimination," the Oklahoma Republican told CNN's "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota.
"We will continue to reach out and continue to work with him. We have obviously subpoenaed business records from him. Businesses are not protected by the Fifth Amendment."
Flynn, though, is just one part of the committee's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, and Lankford said it is not his pressing that all of the investigative threads lead through the retired lieutenant general.
"This is a thread," Lankford said. "This is a part of the investigation, It s an important part of the investigation. We have done a few interviews around the issue. We will continue to do more after this. We want to sit down and get his side of the story and be able to get the facts."
It is "ironic, obviously," that Flynn chose to invoke the Fifth, after President Donald Trump, while still a candidate, slammed people who took the Fifth rather than testify in connection to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
"We had about, I don't remember the number now, nine or 10 individuals during the Obama administration that took the Fifth Amendment," said Lankford.
Lankford also commented on news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose on his security clearance forms some of his meetings with Russians, saying that senators, as Sessions was at the time, meet with many people from around the world.
"I want to know what those are before I pass any judgment on whether there was an issue here," said Lankford.
"Ultimately, I'm going to pick apart every single one of them," he continued. "You meet a lot of people in the Senate. You contact a lot of folks at a lot of different events out there representing the United States and they are representing their country. We want to be able to ask him the basic question and clear up the record. We'll go from there."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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