Schiff says too early to discuss Flynn immunity for testimony
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 17:44
FILE - This Feb. 1, 2017, file photo shows then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, joined by K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser, during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington.
"Out of respect for the committees, we will not comment right now on the details of discussions between counsel for General Flynn and the House and Senate intelligence committees, other than to confirm that those discussions have taken place", the lawyer added.
At least four investigations are under way into allegations that Moscow tried to swing November's presidential election in Trump's favour, as questions swirl about whether some in the Republican's inner circle colluded with Russian Federation. If he were on the verge of ratting out Trump officials, wouldn't they be more eager to hear what he has to say?
Schiff said committee leaders would be discussing the issue with their Senate counterparts and the Justice Department. A Democratic source said that Democrats on the intelligence committee are resistant to the offer. Trump tweeted after firing Flynn in February.
President Donald Trump has said in a tweet Flynn should ask for immunity but later said he should testify, according to media reports.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that Trump believes Flynn should testify before lawmakers and "get the story out" about his ties to Russian Federation.
Asked whether the White House is concerned about what Flynn might say to congressional investigators, Spicer said "nope".
In September, while discussing aides to Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, Flynn told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that "when you are given immunity that means you've probably committed a crime".
Spicer said the president "thinks he should go out and tell his story".
His ouster came amid controversy over his discussions with Kislyak in late December, when the Obama administration was hitting Russian Federation with retaliatory sanctions and expulsions for its election interference.
The spokesman for Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said there was never an immunity deal offered to Flynn.
"While I can not discuss the content of the documents", Schiff said, "if the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full (House and Senate intelligence) committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities".
"The easiest way to not incriminate yourself is to keep your mouth shut", said Washington lawyer Stephen Ryan, a congressional investigations expert.
The California Democrat also said: "As with any investigation - and particularly one that grows in severity and magnitude by the day - there is still much work and many more witnesses and documents to obtain before any immunity request from any witness can be considered".
A government official with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters that lawyers for Mr Flynn raised the immunity request roughly 10 days ago with representatives of the Senate panel.
Saying Mr. Flynn's request was premature, Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee said Friday the committee needed to do more work before a decision could be reached.
He served as President Trump's national security adviser for three weeks before resigning for what the Trump administration said was misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Additionally, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee about his Russian Federation ties.
Representative Elijah Cummings (Democrat-Maryland) on March 16 released documents showing Flynn was paid more than $67,000 by Russian companies before the USA presidential election, including $33,750 from RT.