Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Grand Jury Issued Subpoenas in FBI Russia Investigation

Lisa Garcia, Staff Writer

Grand Jury subpoenas have been issued to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the on going probe of Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to federal prosecutors. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation, which began last July, into the possible ties between the Trump Campaign associates and Russia. The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forcefully removed as director of Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people involved in the investigation.

Robert Kelner, Flynn’s attorney, the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, the Justice Department, and the FBI all declined to comment. Investigators have been looking into possible wrongdoing in how Flynn handled disclosures about payments from clients tied to foreign governments including Russia and Turkey, US officials briefed on the matter told CNN.

The Flynn inquiry is one piece of the extensive investigation, in which Comey testified in a senate hearing last week that was jointly led by the Alexandria US Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Flynn was eventually forced to resign as Trump’s national security advisor in February after failing to disclose the nature of the phone discussions with Russia’s ambassador in Washington, Sergey Kislyak.

Congressional investigators have also accused Flynn of possibly breaking the law by not properly disclosing a $45,000 payment for an appearance he made at an event in Moscow to celebrate Russia Today. The Russian Government-funded news outlet that US intelligence agencies say placed a key role in the dispersing of the stolen emails intended to damage Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.  Kelner has said that Flynn was not hiding anything, noting that he briefed the DIA on his trip to Russia.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, emerged in 2015 as a strident critic of the Obama administration, which fired him. He built a close relationship last year with Trump and became a frequent Trump campaign surrogate before assuming a brief tenure as national security advisor. The FBI interviewed Flynn about the December calls with Kislyak and determined that he wasn’t intentionally trying to be deceptive about the nature of what was discussed, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. But investigators have been investigating Flynn’s business ties after he left the government and before he joined the Trump administration.

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Grand Jury Issued Subpoenas in FBI Russia Investigation