Top Dem says it's too soon to consider immunity
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 16:09
On Friday morning, US President Donald Trump urged Flynn to ask for immunity to protect himself from a "witch hunt". Intelligence committees in both the Senate and House are investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"We will be discussing the matter with our counterparts on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Department of Justice", said Schiff. The aide was not authorized to discuss private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn wants immunity before he testifies to Congress, but the type of deal he's seeking is rarely granted - in large part because of the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s.
"The underlying point that you're missing, Jonathan, respectfully, is that what he is asking is go testify", Spicer said, ignoring Trump's characterization on numerous occasions, including Friday, of the investigation into connections between his affiliates and Russian Federation as a "witch hunt".
White House spokesman Sean Spicer was asked at a news briefing if he was concerned that Flynn could provide information that could be harmful to the administration and replied, "Nope".
Flynn's attorney said Thursday that the retired general is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for answering questions.
Using similar language, Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, said in a written statement late Thursday that his client had little recourse but to pursue legal protection.
"He [Trump] believes that Mike Flynn should go testify", Spicer stated on Friday. "America deserves a government that can go to work on Day One and get it done".
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl pressed Spicer on the president's Twitter reaction to the news that Flynn is apparently asking investigators for immunity in exchange for testimony regarding the Trump/Russia probe. Those inquiries are looking into the presidential election and potential collusion between Trump's campaign staff members and the Russians.
Prior to Trump's inauguration, on the day that President Obama announced sanctions against Russia as punishment for interfering in the US election, Flynn spoke on the phone with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
Critics have highlighted a comment that Mr Flynn made in an NBC interview last September in which he said: "When you get given immunity that means you've probably committed a crime".
Kelner confirmed that there have been "discussions" regarding Flynn's possible appearances before the House and Senate Intelligence committees now conducting formal inquires into Russia's attempts to disrupt the American political system.
"Moreover, when the time comes to consider requests for immunity from any witness, we will of course require a detailed proffer of any intended testimony". So far the panel have requested 20 people to be interviewed in connection with the survey, and five of those meetings have already been scheduled, Burr said, adding that the remaining meetings will be scheduled within 10 days. Just weeks into the Trump administration, Flynn was asked to resign for misleading Mike Pence and other administration officials about his contact with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.