Former U.S. National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn is set to invoke the Fifth Amendment on Monday and decline to give documents to the Senate intelligence committee investigating the Trump team's links to Russia, a source told the Associated Press.
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The Senate committee is investigating possible links between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russia during last year's election campaign, separate from another probe by the U.S. Justice Department into the same matter.
Flynn and other advisers to Trump’s campaign were allegedly in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.
It was unclear last week whether Flynn would cooperate with the intel panel, which had issued a subpoena the previous week requesting documents related to Flynn's possible interactions with Russia.
In a statement last week, intel committee chairman Richard Burr rejected claims that Flynn would not cooperate. "Gen. Flynn's attorneys have not yet indicated their intentions regarding the Senate Intelligence Committee's subpoena," he said. "Consistent with the Committee's position since the beginning of or investigation, I welcome their willingness to cooperate."
If Flynn does take the Fifth, it will serve as protection against self-incrimination.
The New York Times reported last week that Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation into Flynn in February, according to a memorandum written by Comey.
Also last week, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.