Trump's fired NSA Michael Flynn will refuse to testify in Russia probe
The US president‘s former national security adviser will reportedly only testify in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution, an offer or demand that he put forth some time ago and that has found no takers yet.world Updated: May 24, 2017 12:39 IST
US President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will decline to testify before or cooperate with a US Senate committee probing Russian interference in the 2016 elections and alleged collusion by Trump aides.
Flynn will plead the Fifth Amendment (of the US constitution) instead, according to sources close to him cited in multiple US media reports. This constitutional provision guarantees protection against self-incrimination.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting one of the many investigations into the Russian meddling, had issued Flynn a subpoena earlier in May asking him to testify before the panel and also turn over relevant documents.
The same sources said Flynn will also tell the committee, later on Monday, he will only testify in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution, an offer or demand that he put forth some time ago and that has found no takers yet.
Flynn was fired in February for lying to Vice-President Mike Pence about his interactions with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, who was also the reason why attorney general Jeff Sessions later recused himself from the Russia probe.
In multiple interactions with Kislyak, Flynn, who had by then been named the next NSA, had discussed the lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia by President Barack Obama for the Russian interference the day they were announced.
Allegations of Trump campaign aides colluding in Russian meddling have dogged this White House from almost the start, and even the president, who has been insistent about his innocence, said last week he can only speak for himself.
There were reports last week, the day Trump left for his first overseas tour, that investigations now have a “significant person of interest” — a suspect not arrested or formally charged — in the case; who is a senior adviser to the president and close to him.
The suspect remains unidentified but speculation continues about some members of Trump’s inner circle of senior advisers who are known to have had contacts with Russians during the campaign, and who are close to the president.
There aren’t too many to choose from.