Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will plead the fifth rather than testify before the House Intelligence Committee later this week, his lawyer told Chairman Adam Schiff Monday.
Sidney Powell, Flynn’s attorney, told Schiff in a letter reported by The Washington Times that Flynn “will not appear before your committee on September 25, 2019 to be paraded, harassed or disparaged for doing so.”
Schiff subpoenaed Flynn on June 12 to testify about his business dealings, his work on the Trump campaign and in the White House. The Democrat, who was a leading proponent of the debunked theory of Trump campaign collusion, demanded on Sept. 9 that Flynn comply with the subpoena.
Flynn is currently awaiting sentencing in a case stemming from the special counsel’s probe. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017 to making false statements to the FBI during a Jan. 24, 2017 interview regarding his contacts with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn cooperated extensively with federal prosecutors as part of his plea deal, and seemed to be poised to receive a lenient sentence when he appeared for sentencing on Dec. 18, 2018. But the retired lieutenant general decided at that hearing to delay sentencing after Judge Emmet Sullivan indicated he might levy jail time in the case.
Flynn replaced his previous legal team on June 6, and hired Powell, an outspoken critic of the special counsel’s investigation.
Powell has waged a more aggressive defense of Flynn, and has urged for a dismissal of charges, accusing prosecutors of “egregious” misconduct.
She carried that disdain over Schiff in Monday’s letter, citing his “disregard for propriety, professionalism, prior practices and ethics in your theatrical demand.”
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