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House Intelligence Committee issues seven subpoenas

On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas -- four related to the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and three to the "unmasking" of Trump associates during the presidential transition.

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The committee announced late Wednesday afternoon that it would subpoena former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the Flynn Intel Group LLC, and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Michael D. Cohen & Associates PC as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. 

The committee's statement, released by Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, said that the subpoenas were for "testimony, personal documents and business records." 

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the subpoenas, said that the committee also subpoenaed the National Security Agency (NSA), FBI and CIA for information about "unmasking," that is, the exposure of Trump campaign officials mentioned in classified intelligence reports, based on intercepts of conversations. Names of Americans swept up incidentally in the collection of intelligence are normally masked, or kept redacted, in intelligence briefings, but under the law, national security officials can request that these names be revealed, or unmasked.

The subpoenas related to unmasking, according to the Journal, seek information about requests made by then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice, then-CIA Director John Brennan and then-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to unmask names contained in classified documents.

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, D-California, had no knowledge of the unmasking subpoenas until the last minute, he told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." 

"I only learned about this late the night before, and that's a problem," Schiff said Thursday. "And these were sent out unilaterally by the chairman (Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California)."

Also, Schiff said that under committee rules, the chair signs the subpoenas, "unless that authority is delegated to someone else." He feels that Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who is filling Nunes' role as chairman in the Russia investigation, is the person who should have that authority. "That hasn't happened yet," Schiff said, adding that he thinks it's a "violation of the recusal" by Nunes.

CBS News' Catherine Reynolds contributed to this story.

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