Hill panels say it's too soon to discuss immunity for Flynn
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 18:00
The White House today said that US President Donald Trump wants former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to testify to Congress over allegations that he colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential elections.
Mr Flynn's recent financial history, made available on Saturday by the White House, comes amid his effort to win immunity from congressional probers in exchange for his co-operation with official inquiries into contacts between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016.
Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. Trump tweeted earlier on Friday.
Even some Republicans like Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, are puzzled by Flynn's request for protection from prosecution.
The president weighed in on Flynn the day after the ousted national security adviser's attorney confirmed the immunity discussions with intelligence committees in both the Senate and House that are investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"I would suspect both Congress and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will first generate additional evidence from smaller players before deciding to immunise General Flynn", Zaid said, according to the Times.
It was unclear from Trump's tweet whether he was advising the Justice Department or the congressional panels to give his former adviser immunity.
A president would normally try to steer Americans away from any investigations, CBS News' John Dickerson says.
The White House on Friday began releasing scores of disclosures from Trump administration officials.
A spokesman for the Senate committee was quoted as saying the body had held a discussion on the immunity issue, while a spokesman for the House committee said they had not received any offer from Flynn.
"No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution", Kelner wrote.
In September, 2016, Flynn criticized aides of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for securing immunity in exchange for their knowledge of Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State, according to The Hill.
"When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime", Flynn said in an interview.
"General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit", Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, said in a statement late Thursday.
She says, "I really don't want to think that it's about Flynn to get the president".
FBI Director James Comey has said there is no evidence of wiretapping at Trump Tower in NY but that the agency is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation. The president also thinks that this is an excuse for them for the big loss at the elections.
Mr Flynn's ties to Russian Federation have been scrutinised by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Asked about the speaking fee, Flynn said: "I didn't take any money from Russian Federation, if that's what you're asking me". "The discussions did not include immunity or other possible conditions for his appearance".
Ultimately, it is Justice's decision whether to grant immunity from prosecution for any underlying conduct that is discussed, or other matters that don't come up in testimony.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Flynn was seeking immunity. As of Wednesday, the Senate panel had asked to interview 20 people.
Four Democratic senators have charged in a series of letters that the appointment of Michael Flynn as Donald Trump's national security adviser "might have jeopardised national security" and demanded information on why seemingly obvious red flags were overlooked in his vetting for the position.