Ex-adviser Flynn should seek immunity in Russia probe
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 15:06
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has offered to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution, as investigators look into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. His resignation came after it emerged that Mr Flynn made misleading statements about talks he held with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition concerning Washington's sanctions on Moscow.
Instead, the White House continued to sidestep queries about its role in showing Nunes classified information that appears to have included transcripts of foreign officials discussing Trump's transition to the presidency, according to current and former USA officials.
"When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime", Flynn said.
In a letter sent Thursday, Trump's top White House lawyer invited the highest-ranking lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees to view classified materials, which it said had been uncovered in the "ordinary course of business".
"The president is very clear that he wants Mike Flynn to go and be completely open and transparent with the committee, and whatever it takes to do that he is supportive of", Spicer said.
Trump's ex-national security advisor, whose links to Russian Federation are one focus of the sprawling investigation, has sought protection in exchange for his testimony to the FBI and congressional committees.
Kelner did not respond for requests for comment Friday.
Nunes has been accused of being too close to President Donald Trump's administration while his committee is conducting an investigation into the Trump presidential campaign's possible contacts with Russian Federation.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the Flynn development.
Chaffetz referred to Trump's early Friday tweet, saying that his former national security adviser "should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt".
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn - wants to tell **his** story - but only with immunity.
"General Flynn informed and briefed DIA before his trip to Russian Federation that he was going to get paid for it".
Flynn's lawyer Robert Kelner said that "no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicised, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution".
Any decision to offer Flynn immunity would come from US Attorneys and Department of Justice, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation, officials explained.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump just wants Flynn to testify and that there are no concerns that Flynn could implicate the president in any wrongdoing.
He and his firm also recently registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents for lobbying work conducted on behalf of a company owned by a Turkish businessman. During the Obama administration, former IRS official Lois Lerner sought immunity for her testimony to Congress, which was investigating how she and other officials scrutinized conservative groups.
During the election, Flynn condemned Hillary Clinton campaign aides for seeking immunity during the probe into Clinton's private email servers.