Disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has denied a subpoena order from Congress, invoking his right to plead the Fifth Amendment in the ongoing investigation into Russian collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign and transition team last year.
The Associated Press on Monday morning sent out a tweet stating that a source confirmed that Flynn would deny the subpoena issued toward him by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
BREAKING: AP Source says Michael Flynn to decline Senate Intel committee subpoena, invoke 5th Amendment later today.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 22, 2017
The decree by Flynn allows him to refuse to testify in front of Congress on the grounds that he would not want to incriminate himself. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, in part, that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
The Senate subpoenaed Flynn earlier this month. Flynn had previously offered to testify in front of Congress, but only if he received immunity in the investigation, which would have meant he couldn’t have been charged for committing a crime related to the alleged collusion. Flynn allegedly met with Russian agents prior to Trump assuming office, offering them assurances that recent sanctions placed on the Kremlin may be lifted under the new president.
Flynn also failed to disclose that he had received monetary compensation from speaking engagements in Russia and Turkey. During the transition period, Flynn reportedly steered military policy toward a position favorable to the Turkish government.
President Trump himself has been critical of those who have used the Fifth Amendment to avoid prosecution in the past. “The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” he has said, although Trump himself has invoked the Fifth Amendment on dozens of occasions.