March 30, 2017
Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees to receive immunity from prosecution in exchange for questioning about potential ties between Russia and officials in President Donald Trump’s campaign, his lawyer said Thursday.
In a statement, Flynn’s attorney Robert Kelner said the retired Army lieutenant general “certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”
The discussions were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The report cited officials who said that Flynn has made offers to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees through Kelner but has so far found no takers.
Jack Langer, a spokesman for House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Flynn had not offered to testify before the committee in exchange for immunity. However, Langer did not say whether or not Flynn had spoken to committee members about a possible deal.
A congressional aide confirmed to the Associated Press that discussions with the Senate intelligence committee involved immunity. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
In his statement, Kelner said that “no reasonable person … would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”
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.
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.
Flynn was fired from his job as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser after it was disclosed that he misled the vice president about a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition.
In the weeks after he resigned, Flynn and his business registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents for $530,000 worth of lobbying work that could have benefited the Turkish government.
The lobbying occurred while Flynn was a top Trump campaign adviser. The Turkish businessman who hired Flynn, Ekim Alptekin, has told the AP that Flynn’s firm registered under pressure from the Justice Department.