Michael Flynn to take the Fifth Amendment and decline Senate subpoena

Posted at 11:28 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 17:40:12-04

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to honor a Senate committee's subpoena request for documents relating to Russian interference in the election, a source close to Flynn confirms to ABC News.

The Fifth Amendment gives an individual the right to protect against self-incrimination.

"He will not be producing the documents they sought. He is entitled to decline pursuant to the Fifth Amendment," a source close to Flynn tells ABC News.

To date, Flynn is the only Trump associate whom the Senate has subpoenaed.

Legal experts told ABC News that Fifth Amendment rights do not just apply to someone seated at a witness table. It also allows the individual to decline to produce documents that could potentially be incriminating.

The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Flynn's personal documents on May 10 after the former national security adviser declined to cooperate with their original April 28 request in relation to the panel's investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election and its possible ties to Trump associates.

Prior to the April request, Flynn said through a statement from his lawyer that he wouldn't submit himself to questioning from the committee "without assurances against unfair prosecution."

President Trump then weighed in on Twitter, saying that Flynn was right to ask for immunity "in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!"

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on March 31 that the president "believes that Mike Flynn should go testify."

Spicer told reporters that Trump wants Flynn to "go testify, go get it out there, do what you have to do."

Last week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that "Gen. Flynn's lawyers said that he would not honor the subpoena and that's not a surprise to the committee," but Burr's office later put out a statement saying that Flynn's attorneys had not yet gotten back to them.