Michael Flynn Offers Testimony on Russia in Exchange for Immunity
The former security adviser's attorney says no "reasonable person" would submit to questioning without assurance of protection from "unfair prosecution."
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from "unfair prosecution" in exchange for agreeing to be questioned as part of ongoing probes into possible contacts between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, his attorney said Thursday.
"General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit," said Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner.
Kelner said no "reasonable person" with legal counsel would answer questions without assurances that he would not be prosecuted, given calls from some members of Congress that the retired lieutenant general should face criminal charges.
Flynn's ties to Russia have been scrutinized by the FBI and are under investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Both committees are looking into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.
Since July, the FBI has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's interference in the election and possible coordination with Trump associates.
Kelner released a statement after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Flynn's negotiations with the committee included discussions of immunity. The lawyer described the talks as ongoing and said he would not comment on the details.
A congressional aide confirmed that discussions with the Senate intelligence committee involved immunity. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
House intelligence committee spokesman Jack Langer said Flynn has not offered to testify to the committee in exchange for immunity.
Four other Trump associates have come forward in recent weeks, saying they would talk to the committees. As of Wednesday, the Senate intelligence committee had asked to interview 20 people as part of the probe.
In his statement, Kelner said the political climate in which Flynn is facing "claims of treason and vicious innuendo" is factoring into his negotiations with the committees.
On Friday morning, Trump took to Twitter to defend Flynn, saying he should ask for immunity "in that this is a witch hunt."
"Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!" he tweeted.
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017