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Trump-Russia investigation: Michael Flynn ordered to hand over papers

A US Senate panel investigating Russian interference in last year’s election has issued a rare formal demand for documents from President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.

Michael Flynn has failed to voluntarily co-operate with the investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee says.

He was forced to resign in February after failing to disclose the content of his talks with Russian diplomats.

Meanwhile, the fallout continues over the firing of the FBI director.

The White House maintained that James Comey was removed on Tuesday for his handling of the inquiry over Hillary Clinton’s emails.

But senior Democrats said he had recently asked the justice department for more resources for his Trump-Russia investigation.

Flynn: Documents demanded

The Senate Intelligence Committee said it issued a subpoena after Mr Flynn rejected its request on 28 April to submit documents relevant to the investigation.

Mr Flynn, a retired army lieutenant-general, misled the White House about discussing US sanctions against Russia with the country’s envoy, Sergei Kislyak, before Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

His links to Russia are being scrutinised by the FBI and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, as part of wider investigations into claims Moscow sought to tip the election in favour of Mr Trump, and into contacts between Russia and members of the president’s campaign team.

The rare use of a subpoena by senators makes it clear that the committee is forging ahead with its investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia links, the BBC’s Laura Bicker in Washington says.

Comey fired: Fallout continues

Reaction to Mr Comey’s firing continued on Wednesday, with a White House spokeswoman saying that President Trump had been considering sacking the FBI director since he was elected.

But critics accuse the Republican president of firing the nation’s top law enforcement official because he was leading the Russian inquiry.

The White House has rejected calls to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin over last year’s election.

The Senate Intelligence Committee invited Mr Comey to testify next week.

In a farewell letter to staff, Mr Comey said he would not “spend time on the decision or the way it was executed”.

“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all,” he wrote.

“It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing,” he added.

“My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”

 

Source: BBC

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