Politics

Report: Michael Flynn Offers To Testify For Immunity

| by Michael Allen

President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has reportedly offered to testify to House and Senate intelligence committees and the FBI if he is granted immunity from prosecution.

On March 30, The Wall Street Journal cited unidentified officials who said Flynn is willing to talk about the Trump campaign's possible ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, The Hill notes.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13 after it was revealed that he had contact with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak before the Trump administration took office, but misled Vice President Mike Pence about those conversations, The New York Times reported in February.

Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner issued a statement that seemed to confirm Flynn's willingness to talk, according to The Hill:

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General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.

Notwithstanding his life of national service, the media are awash with unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against him. He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated.

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.

During an interview with NBC News in September, Flynn attacked people close to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton who had been given immunity during congressional investigations into her private email server:

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The very last thing that John Podesta [former Clinton presidential campaign chairman] just said is no individual should be too big to jail. That should include people like Hillary Clinton. Five people around her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff. When you are given immunity, that means that you've probably committed a crime.

In more Trump administration news, The New York Times reports that two White House officials gave Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California intelligence reports that showed Trump and people connected to him were part of incidental surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies that were conducting foreign surveillance during the 2016 election.

Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, although some have accused him of doing Trump's bidding.

Nunes reportedly got a mysterious call from a source or sources on March 21, and then suddenly went to the White House. On March 22, Nunes gave a press conference about the incidental surveillance, refused to name his source(s), and then went back to the White House to brief Trump on the information that allegedly came from White House officials only the day before.

Unidentified U.S. officials told The New York Times that Nunes' sources were two White House officials: Michael Ellis and Ezra Cohen-Watnick. Ellis is an attorney who works in the White House Counsel’s Office on national security matters; he used to be a lawyer for Nunes’ committee. Cohen-Watnick works for the National Security Council as the senior director for intelligence. He was brought into the Trump administration by Flynn when he (Flynn) was the national security adviser.

The New York Times report about Nunes and his sources came out only hours before The Wall Street Journal's report about Flynn seeking immunity. It's unclear if the two incidents are related.

Sources: The Hill, NBC News, The New York Times (2) / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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