Michael Flynn informed the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday that he will not comply with the committee’s subpoena for a list of his communications with Russian officials ahead of last year’s presidential election.
The Senate Intelligence panel is investigating Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, and other Trump campaign aides as part of its larger probe of Russia’s meddling in November’s election. Flynn had previously signaled he was not cooperating with the committee’s May 10 request for documents.
Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, asserted in a letter Monday that his client has a Fifth Amendment right not to produce the documents, as doing so would amount to a “testimonial act.”
The letter noted Flynn previously told the committee he would testify only if he got “assurances against unfair prosecution” and that his demand for immunity is unchanged.
“The context in which the committee has called for General Flynn’s testimonial production of documents makes clear that he has more than a reasonable apprehension that any testimony he provides could be used against him,” Kelner wrote. “Multiple members of Congress have demanded that he be investigated and even prosecuted.”
It’s unclear whether the Senate will vote to hold Flynn in contempt and refer his case to the Justice Department for criminal charges or to federal district court for civil enforcement. These routes are long and complicated, and there’s no guarantee they would succeed.