House Intelligence Committee subpoenas Michael Flynn and Rick Gates

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has earned praise from both sides of the aisle for the way he has kept the House Intelligence Committee on course and working to understand the counterintelligence aspects of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. That has included securing Republican support for issuing subpoenas. And now the committee has issued subpoenas to two of the most critical witnesses in the Russia investigation: former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former deputy chair of the Trump campaign Rick Gates. These are the first subpoenas the committee has issued to witnesses who were subjects of the special counsel investigation.

In addition to testimony, both Flynn and Gates have been asked to provide documents. The letter to Flynn notes that he has been encouraged by Judge Emmet Sullivan to cooperate with the investigation and that cooperation with Congress would show the court that he “has met a ‘high standard’ for cooperation.”

How Flynn reacts to this request will be extremely interesting in light of the way he recently fired the entire legal team that has been with him throughout his plea deal with the government and replaced it with fire-breathing alt-right attorney Sidney Powell. Powell has disparaged Judge Sullivan, called Robert Mueller a “creep,” and repeatedly claimed that Flynn would be better off if he withdrew his guilty plea. Sullivan might relish the chance to get on the Trump side of refusing congressional subpoenas.

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