On Monday, the Senate hearings on Trump-Russia ties will push forward with testimony from former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who is expected to testify on her “forceful warning” to the White House regarding Michael Flynn’s vulnerability to Russian blackmail. As part of the overarching investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee has now issued formal requests for several Trump associates to reveal all of their communication records (emails, calls, and scrawlings on cocktail napkins) from Russian government officials or businessfolk.
These, of course, are requests that have been issued cordially through letters. However, the committee reportedly sees this as the first step toward sending subpoenas to any associates who refuse to cooperate. The New York Times reveals the key names who recently had (another) bad day:
Among those who said they had received the requests were Roger J. Stone, an informal adviser to President Trump, and Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman, and Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, were also sent letters, said the officials with knowledge of the investigation. Representatives for both men declined to comment.
Let’s ponder how these associates might react to these requests …
Paul Manafort will likely see no other option but to cooperate. While Devin Nunes was House intel chair, he claimed that Manafort agreed to testify for their Russia investigation. Devin Nunes is generally full of hot garbage, but Manafort, who has been fully shunned by the White House, has little to lose by complying with the Senate as well on any request.
Michael Flynn should cooperate, but he could resist without a subpoena to compel him. He has been distanced to a degree by the White House, but Trump also advocated for him to receive immunity. Flynn offered to testify upon that condition, which was rejected by the Senate.
God only knows what Carter Page will do. He may still be ranting to himself in a darkened studio deep in the bowels of the Fox News building.
And then we come to Roger “Albino Assassin” Stone, who has already told the NY Times that he’s raring to testify, for real: “I am eager, indeed anxious, to testify in full public session, have requested no immunity and am ready to go.” The Senate may receive more than they bargained for with this wild man.
(Via New York Times)