Russian Federation investigation: US Congress issues subpoenas

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 2, 2017

Mike Conaway and Adam Schiff, the top Republican and Democrat involved in the investigation.

On Tuesday, a person close to Flynn said he will turn over documents related to the two businesses as well as some personal documents the committee sought in the narrower request.

Nunes, who was a member of Trump's transition team, had raised the topic of unmasking - the practice of identifying by name individuals mentioned in surveillance transcripts - after the committee heard testimony March 20 from then Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during last year's election campaign.

The committee also approved subpoenas to the two men's firms, Flynn Intel Llc, and Michael D. Cohen and Associates PC, the committee statement said.

Despite recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation, Nunes signed all seven subpoenas, Fox News reported, describing his actions as "standard practice".

Cohen told ABC News that he had been asked by both the House and Senate intelligence committees to provide information and testimony about contacts he had with Russian officials.

Another congressional source, who also requested anonymity, said Democrats were "informed and consulted" about the subpoenas ahead of time, but some committee aides said they were not. "I declined the invitation (by the Senate and House Intelligence panels) to participate as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered".

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Before he could testify, however, Comey had to ensure his appearance at a public hearing would not complicate the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the probe of possible coordination between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials during last year's presidential campaign.

Two congressional sources say the three subpoenas for the unmasking investigation are for the FBI, CIA, and NSA in order to obtain information on unmasking requests made by former United Nations ambassador Samantha Power, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former CIA director John Brennan.

Unmasking requests are not uncommon, said Charles Price, a former FBI agent who worked at the bureau for almost three decades.

Flynn, who served as Trump's national security adviser for a mere 24 days, has featured in numerous investigation's most compelling events.

But the others are requests for three intelligence agencies and concern their Obama-era activities.

Cohen's name surfaced a year ago in an unsubstantiated dossier prepared by a former British intelligence agent, alleging that the lawyer attended a meeting in Prague to discuss Russia's targeting of Democrats for hacking operations.

The identities can be "unmasked", or revealed, however, to a small group of government officials with the proper clearance if they request unmasking.

"I leaked nothing, to nobody, and never have and never would", Rice said. He added that he saw them as a concession to Trump supporters on the committee and that they likely wouldn't result in any damning information.

Cohen is one of several Trump associates under scrutiny in a Federal Bureau of Investigation examination of contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, according to the New York Times.

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