Leaders Of Senate Russia Probe Given 'Blanket Authority' To Issue Subpoenas

The investigation is gaining some steam.

WASHINGTON ― The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to give its leaders “blanket authority” to issue any subpoena they deem appropriate in their investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Under regular committee rules, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) could only issue subpoenas after a full committee vote on the matter. Thursday’s vote, however, allows the two leaders to act jointly without the approval of their fellow members ― thus speeding up the process.

On Wednesday, the committee issued two new subpoenas specifically targeting former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s businesses, Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel Inc.

Flynn was fired earlier this year over failing to disclose that he had had conversations with Russian officials prior to Trump’s inauguration.

Burr and Warner maintained that Flynn’s decision to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply to his businesses and documents, adding he could be subject to a contempt charge if he doesn’t turn over the materials.

“We would like to hear from Gen. Flynn,” Burr told reporters on Wednesday. “We’d like to see his documents. We’d like him to tell his story because he publicly said, ‘I’ve got a story to tell.’ We’re allowing him that opportunity.”

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