The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Thursday the committee is examining "deep counterintelligence concerns" raised in special counsel Robert Mueller's report and "requires speaking directly" with Flynn and Gates, who were important witnesses for Mueller's investigation.
"The American people, and the Congress, deserve to hear directly from these two critical witnesses," the California Democrat said in a statement. "We hope these witnesses come to recognize their cooperation as being with the United States, not merely the Department of Justice."
The subpoena seeks documents and testimony from both men. Letters sent to their lawyers request that records be produced by June 26 and that they testify before the committee on July 10.
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Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States and awaits sentencing. He was supposed to have been sentenced last December, but midway through the hearing abruptly asked for it to be postponed so that he could continue cooperating with the Justice Department and earn additional credit toward a reduced sentence.
Schiff told reporters Thursday that "there are a whole host of issues that we want the opportunity to discuss."
"We have not had that opportunity over the past couple of years because of their involvement in their own cases and now potentially ... in the cases involving others," he added.
Schiff told reporters the committee is interested in Flynn's discussions with former ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions imposed on Russia as well as his involvement in foreign business deals.
Asked if he thought Flynn and Gates would appear, Schiff said, "I would hope that they would consider it valuable as a part of their cooperation, to show the court that they are doing everything that they can to assist the United States government, that they will also assist the Congress."
Flynn's attorney, Sidney Powell, said in an email to The Associated Press, "The General is continuing to cooperate with the government," but she declined to comment on the subpoena. Gates' lawyer did not immediately return an email message about the subpoena.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor who has been an outspoken critic of Mueller's investigation, was recently hired by Flynn after he fired his previous lawyers. The change may herald a shift in Flynn's legal strategy in the final stages of his case.
Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy and false statement charges related to Ukrainian lobbying and political consulting he did with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who's been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.