House committee issues subpoenas; Comey OK'd to testify

05 June, 2017, 08:06 | Author: Michele Stevens

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Republican Representative Mike Conaway and Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who are leading the committee's Russian Federation probe, announced subpoenas for Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as well as their firms.

The House Intel Committee issued four subpoenas related to its Russian Federation investigation this week, and three others to the FBI, CIA and NSA that were related to "unmasking", the exposure of Trump campaign officials mentioned in classified intelligence reports, based on intercepts of conversations.

ANYONE PAYING attention to the mushrooming investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election campaign and President Trump's possible ties to Moscow will have noticed that this is not a simple story.

"The behavior of Nunes ... is beneath the dignity of being a chairman of the Intelligence Committee".

Some of the requests for information relate not to Trump associates thought to have had Russian Federation contacts, but to Obama administration officials.

The ability to "incidentally" collect intelligence on Americans has long rankled civil rights and privacy advocates, including Nunes and others in Congress such as Sen.

A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) in the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., on February 28, 2017 and FBI Director James Comey in Washington U.S. on July 7, 2016. Since the probes are considered separate matters, Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) signed all seven subpoenas, despite his recusal, the Journal reports.

Nunes in April recused himself from the committee's Russian Federation investigation after having come under fire for his decision to go to the White House grounds and look at classified information that suggested the Trump transition team may have been under indirect surveillance.

Market records; Jobs report; Oil prices drop
Dow industrials climbed to all-time highs on Friday, as investors shrugged off a much weaker than expected jobs report. The euro fell to $1.1225 from $1.1246, and the British pound edged up to $1.2898 from $1.2892.

Four current and former US officials who have reviewed the materials told Reuters there was no evidence that political motives drove Obama's aides to request the names be unredacted.

The parallel investigation that is going on seems illogical and counterproductive, yet it is a reality. Nunes had issued three subpoenas in relation to whether intelligence authorities improperly revealed Trump officials in surveillance reports. But on Wednesday, he used his power as chairman to issue subpoenas related to the inquiry.

Schiff said that in both Sessions' and Nunes' cases, "commitments to recuse themselves have not been fully honored".

The aide argued that "temporarily stepping aside" and "recusing" are two entirely different things, and noted that Nunes still has an important job to fill as chairman of the House intelligence committee, including investigating any "unmasking" - the revealing of United States nationals swept up in routine surveillance of foreign officials - in intelligence reports.

The committee was due to interview 10 witnesses this month, but its senior Democrat objected the move, sources told Politico.

The subpoenas comes a day after Cohen said that he would not cooperate with congressional investigators after several unofficial attempts by senators and congressmen to obtain his cooperation. "I only learned about this late the night before, and that's a problem", Schiff said.

Schiff added that if House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) "wants to allow this kind of thing to go on. that is really up to him, and I think he will ultimately be held accountable for how this is conducted". Nevertheless, the issuance of a subpoena implies that the issuer has a good-faith basis to believe it does.

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