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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flynn is lightning rod

First, thanks to excellent reporting from The Hill news organization for keeping the public informed about fast developing events in Washington.

Former General and National Security Advisor, and campaign surrogate for Donald Trump was subpoenaed by the Senate investigative committee to appear to answer questions. At first, he offered to testify if granted immunity. The committee prudently declined to provide protection.

Next, they still want to talk with him and asked him to appear. On the advice of his legal council, he refused. One might expect him to plead the Fifth Amendment protection at this point.

Flynn has a heap of trouble, personally. When Rober Mueller gets up to speed, it is going to get real ugly. There is no sense in witnesses getting ginned up for Congressional investigators at this point. They missed their window.

"In April, the committee sent a series of requests to several former President Trump associates asking for records on any dealings with Russia — a request Flynn’s lawyers declined to cooperate with through counsel, sparking the subpoena.  
Trump’s former foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, informal adviser Roger Stone and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort were also asked to provide documents. As of last week, the committee had received two responses, according to Burr. One of these, Page, is publicly known. Burr declined to reveal the second.   
The letters asked for the men to list any meetings they might have had with Russian officials between June 16, 2015 — the day Trump formally launched his presidential campaign — and Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, as well as records of any communications during that period. 
The senators also want details on any financial assets or real estate holding tied to Russia and a broader list of meetings between any Trump campaign aides and Russians.
In December 2015, Flynn was paid $45,000 to speak at an event hosted in Moscow by the Kremlin-backed network RT, during which he was seated with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also received payments for additional speeches to Russian firms Kaspersky and Volga Dnepr. 
As a retired military officer, Flynn is prohibited under the emoluments clause of the Constitution from accepting payment from a foreign government without advance permission from both the secretary of State and the secretary of the Army."

We know where this is headed.

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