Michael Flynn denies Senate Intelligence subpoena, invokes Fifth Amendment

Last Updated May 23, 2017 11:37 AM EDT

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday, according to a letter sent by his lawyers to the Senate Intelligence Committee which said he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents.

Flynn, lawyers Robert Kelner, Stephen Anthony and Brian Smith wrote, "has more than a reasonable apprehension that any testimony he provides could be used against him." Since the committee issued its subpoena, the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel, giving Flynn further cause to "apprehend danger" in testifying, they argued. Further, they said the the list of documents the committee requested -- a list of meetings with Russian officials, communications records with or involving Russians over an 18-month period --  is overly broad and akin to testimony that could incriminate Flynn. 

The letter Flynn sent can be read here.  

Flynn Letter to SSCI May 22 by CBS News Politics on Scribd

Flynn's decision comes less than two weeks after the committee issued a subpoena for Flynn's documents as part of the panel's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

Flynn was ousted in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials, and Mr. Trump reportedly asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn. Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller will be the special counsel in charge of the FBI's Russia investigation. 

Flynn's lawyers also reiterated that he would be eager to testify, if he could be given assurances against "unfair prosecution." 

The Senate committee is one of several congressional inquiries investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. Flynn is also the target of other congressional investigations as well as an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe and a separate federal investigation in Virginia.

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was fired from his position as Trump's national security adviser in February. At the time, Trump said he fired Flynn because he misled senior administration officials, including the vice president, about his contacts with Russian officials.

Members of key congressional committees are pledging a full public airing as to why former FBI Director James Comey was ousted amid an intensifying investigation into Russia's interference with the U.S. election.

In Sunday show appearances, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers said they will press Comey in hearings as to whether he ever felt that Trump tried to interfere with his FBI work. Others are insisting on seeing any White House or FBI documents that detail conversations between the two, following a spate of news reports that Comey had kept careful records.

Comey was fired by Trump earlier this month. The former FBI director is still set to appear before the committee sometime after Memorial Day, where he is expected to testify publicly on the circumstances surrounding his termination.