Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s initial national security adviser who was forced to resign after admitting he misled White House officials about his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials who are looking into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, that he would consent to be interviewed if prosecutors grant him immunity.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, Flynn was “involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.”
Although Flynn has made the offer, the Journal said no acceptance has come from the FBI.
Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, have been investigated by the FBI; he was paid tens of thousands of dollars by three Russian companies, including the state-sponsored media network RT, for speeches he made before he joined Donald Trump’s campaign.
Flynn’s lawyer released a statement saying that Flynn wanted immunity because of the “Highly politicized, witch hunt environment”:
As former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy pointed out, the coverage inThe New York Times strongly suggested that the Department of Justice was trying to make a criminal case against Flynn, and he would be foolish not to seek immunity. McCarthy added that limited “queen for a day” use of immunity was pretty standard for interviews, and concluded that asking for immunity was one part understanding of what you’ve done, and one part a calculation of how prosecutors view you.
McCarthy also noted that Flynn might have an issue involving his late filing as a foreign agent, which might not engender prosecution, but his lawyer might still want him protected.
Flynn’s request for immunity is being contrasted with his remarks targeting Hillary Clinton and her associates; last September, Flynn appeared on Meet the Press, saying of Clinton’s associates, “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime.”
It may get awkward for President Trump as well; last September, Donald Trump slammed the immunity deals given to some of Hillary Clinton’s associates, but then theorized that Clinton got one too, saying, “They probably gave her immunity, too. Do you think Hillary got – yeah she got the immunity. She had something … You saw what happened about taking the Fifth Amendment and her ringleaders getting immunity deals. We’ll call them, really, the ‘FBI immunity five.’ Nobody has ever seen it. They gave so much immunity there was nobody left to talk to.”
Still, there is no evidence as yet that Flynn has evidence implicating anyone in the Trump Administration. Only time will tell.