You Are Here: Home » News » House committee issues subpoenas; Comey OKd to testify

House committee issues subpoenas; Comey OKd to testify

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Deb Riechmann and
Jake Pearson
Wire Service Correspondents

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House intelligence committee said Wednesday it is issuing subpoenas for President Donald Trumps former national security adviser and his personal lawyer, as well as their businesses, as part of its investigation into Russian activities during last years election.

In addition to those four subpoenas, the committee has issued three others to the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA for information about requests that government officials made to unmask the identities of U.S. individuals named in classified intelligence reports, according to a congressional aide.
The subpoenas were announced as the special counsel overseeing the governments investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia has approved former FBI Director James Comey to testify before the Senate intelligence committee, according to a Comey associate.

At a Wednesday briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said inquiries about the Russia investigation must be directed to Trumps longtime personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. It marked the first time the White House had officially acknowledged that outside counsel had been retained. Calls and emails to Kasowitzs New York firm were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The Comey associate, who wasnt authorized to discuss details of the testimony and spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to discuss the content of Comeys planned testimony. The associate did say that Robert Mueller, whom the Justice Department appointed earlier this month to lead the governments inquiry, is allowing Comey to make certain statements.

Lawmakers are likely to ask Comey about his interactions with Trump as the bureau pursued its investigation into his campaigns contacts.

Associates have said Comey wrote memos describing certain interactions with Trump that gave him pause in the months after the election, including details of a dinner in which he claimed the president asked him to pledge his loyalty, and a request to shut down the investigation of Flynn.

A spokesman for Mueller, a former FBI director, declined to comment. Muellers separate probe could conceivably look at the circumstances surrounding Comeys firing.

Congress is currently out of session. It resumes next Tuesday. No date for Comeys testimony has been set.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Comey planned to testify before the Senate committee after Memorial Day, but the approval from Mueller to do so could indicate that date is fast approaching.

A spokeswoman for the committees chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the committee welcomes Comeys testimony, but declined to comment further.

The House panel pursuing its own investigation of the Trump campaign and possible Russia ties has also sought information from Comey, asking the FBI to turn over documents related to his interactions with both the White House and the Justice Department.

Subpoenas were approved Wednesday for ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and his company, Flynn Intel Group, and Trumps attorney, Michael Cohen, and his firm, Michael D. Cohen & Associates.

Cohen, who had refused an earlier request for information, saying it was not capable of being answered, told the AP on Tuesday that he would comply with subpoenas, should they be issued. He said he has nothing to hide.

The subpoenas sent to government agencies were related to Trumps complaints that Obama administration officials had asked, for political reasons, to be told the names of Trump associates documented in intelligence reports. Officials only unmask the identities of Americans for certain reasons for example, if the name of a person is needed to understand the intelligence being provided.

Another senior committee aide said any subpoenas related to the unmasking issue would have been sent by committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who recused himself from the Russia investigation after being criticized for being too close to the White House. The committee aide, who wasnt authorized to discuss the issue and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the action would have been taken without agreement from the Democratic minority on the committee.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed allegations that his campaign collaborated with Russia ahead of the presidential election. Early Wednesday morning, the president tweeted Witch Hunt! in reference to testimony by Comey and former CIA director John Brennan before Congress on the topic.

__

Pearson reported from New York. Associated Press writer Julie Bykowicz in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2003-2017 Freedom Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Please send comments/suggestions to Webmaster.

Scroll to top