Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is seeking immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for his testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees' investigations into Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election.
"General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit," Robert Kelner, Flynn's attorney, said in a statement, reports CNN. "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."
But Kelner did not indicate that Flynn, a former lieutenant general in the U.S. Army and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama, did anything criminal. After noting the long list of awards and accomplishments during Flynn's highly decorated military career, Kelner blasted Congress and the media for smearing his client's reputation.
"[Flynn] devoted most of his life to serving his country, spending many years away from his family fighting this nation’s battles around the world," Kelner said. "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."
Kelner went on to say that Flynn's offer to exchange his testimony for immunity is only necessary due to the political climate.
"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," he said.
Trump reiterated Kelner's reasoning for Flynn's offer on Twitter. "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!" Trump tweeted.
But others, particularly Trump critics, were not sold on the idea that Flynn is only protecting himself from Democrats who are eager to find any sort of evidence that would prove that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government to defeat former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"Of course, Flynn's not seeking immunity from witch hunt by media & Dems," tweeted conservative pundit Bill Kristol, a long-time Trump detractor. "He's seeking immunity from criminal prosecution. By the government."