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Hands off U.S. election, ex-CIA director says he warned Russia

30 May 2017

The House Intelligence Committee will subpoena former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump Michael Flynn, in its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

"It should be clear to everyone that Russian Federation interfered in our 2016 presidential election process", Brennan said in testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible collusion between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said the House subpoenas "will be created to maximize our chance of getting the information we need" for the committee's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Schiff said that, like the Senate panel, the House will seek to sidestep Fifth Amendment issues by subpoenaing Flynn's businesses.

The report Wednesday says the Russians zeroed in on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, a former head of us military intelligence who was a key Trump campaign adviser.

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Mr Flynn was appointed USA national security adviser in January but resigned after misleading vice-president Mike Pence over his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Meanwhile, the Post also reported that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had proposed establishing a secret communication channel with Russian Federation ahead of Trump's inauguration on January 20.

The letter from the Senate arrived at Trump's campaign committee last week and was addressed to the group's treasurer.

He said that the contacts picked up by US intelligence justified the opening of an FBI investigation that has overshadowed Mr. Trump's presidency. If Flynn fails to respond, he could be charged with contempt of Congress.

On Tuesday, Brennan, the former CIA director, testified to the House intelligence panel that he had noticed enough contact between Trump associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign to justify an investigation by the FBI.

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The Russians "appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump's opinions on Russia", the Times reported, citing "three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence". "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 to do it".

"I think we need to use whatever compulsory [processes] necessary to get the information that he possesses", Schiff said. If that does not happen, the Senate should start a special investigation into the matter.

The controversy has engulfed Trump's young administration since he fired FBI Director James Comey two weeks ago amid the agency's investigation of possible Russian Federation ties.

Despite much of the discussion revolving around the investigation of Trump and his campaign associates, Schiff had some criticism for President Obama's handling of Russia's meddling in the election. "And that's why my radar goes up early when I see certain things that I know what the Russians are trying to do, and I don't know whether or not the targets of their efforts are as mindful of the Russian intentions as they need to be", he said. The two men also exchanged notes about their conversations with the president, the source said.

Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment on the new assertions by Cummings.

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Hands off U.S. election, ex-CIA director says he warned Russia