According to CNN, hours before President Trump fired the FBI Director James Comey, federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas in the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. They were issued to associates of Mike Flynn, the former national security advisor to Trump.
The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
The subpoenas issued in recent weeks by the US Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, were received by associates who worked with Flynn on contracts after he was forced out as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, according to the people familiar with the investigation.
A lawyer for Flynn declined to comment on the story, as did the Justice Department and the FBI, according to CNN.
Flynn has been at the center of speculation by Democrats and Trump detractors since he admitted lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his meeting with a Russian ambassador before the election. Trump fired him, but blamed the media for the leaks that exposed his mischaracterization to Pence.
In testimony before Congress Monday, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said that she had warned the Trump administration about the possibility that Flynn could be subject to extortion by the Russian government based on the lie he had told Pence. She was soon fired, and Flynn resigned only after the lie became public.
Flynn was later accused of breaking the law over payments he received from Russia and Turkey. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) explained the charges in a statement before reporters in April.
“Personally I see no information or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said. “And that is he was supposed to seek permission and receive permission from both the secretary of state, and the secretary of the army prior to traveling to Russia to not only accept that payment, but to engage in that activity. I see no evidence that he actually did that."