The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas today, as separate House and Senate investigations involving the 2016 U.S. presidential election accelerate and expand in scope. Four of the House subpoenas reported today are related to the Russia investigation, and three focus on the so-called 'unmasking' controversy, say unnamed sources cited in stories out today by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, among other news organizations.
The Republican-led committee issued four subpoenas related to the Russia investigation. Three subpoenas are related to questions about how and why the names of associates of President Donald Trump were unredacted and distributed within classified reports by Obama administration officials during the transition between administrations.
The committee has subpoenaed the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency for information about what is called "unmasking." Republicans on the committee have been pushing for a thorough investigation of how the names of Trump campaign officials became exposed in classified intelligence reports based off intelligence community intercepts.
Those subpoenas seek information on requests made by former national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power for names to be unmasked in classified material. The three didn't personally receive subpoenas, the people familiar with the matte said. Mr. Brennan, Ms. Rice and Ms. Power didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Ms. Power hasn't previously been reported as a potential witness in the probe so her inclusion in the subpoenas may mean Republicans are broadening their areas of investigation.
Worth finding out if the agencies were asked and refused to produce records or if the subpoenas were issued without first making a request. https://t.co/s8RJgJtoCO
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) May 31, 2017
Separately, Reuters reports that General Michael Flynn and longtime Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen were among the 7 total subpoenas issued.
The U.S. House intelligence committee was expected to issue subpoenas on Wednesday to President Donald Trump's former national security adviser and his personal lawyer in connection with its probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, sources familiar with the matter said.
The subpoenas were expected to be delivered to retired Army General Michael Flynn, who was sacked as national security adviser by Trump in February, and the president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the sources said.
In addition to the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intel Committee is also investigating whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and if anyone associated with Trump's campaign was part of that meddling. The Senate has already issued subpoenas to Flynn personally, and to his businesses. Trump has denied collusion with Russia, and says he's being persecuted and that this is political sabotage and fake news. Russia denies everything, of course.
The House Intelligence Committee has also delivered a letter to former White House press aide Boris Epshteyn, requesting that he voluntarily submit information for the investigation. Epshteyn served as Trump's special assistant earlier this year, before departing rather abruptly.
PHOTO: Then White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn walks down the White House colonnade on the way to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump's joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg