Ex-NSA Michael Flynn offers to testify in Russia probe in return for immunity
President Donald Trump’s sacked national security adviser Michael Flynn has made an offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional panels probing Russian meddling in US polls to testify in return for immunity from prosecution.Updated: Mar 31, 2017 18:31 IST
Hindustan Times, Washington
President Donald Trump’s sacked national security adviser Michael Flynn has made an offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional panels probing Russian meddling in US polls to testify in return for immunity from prosecution.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported this development, however, said there was no response to his offer form any of the three entities. Immunity is usually granted when investigators expect to snare a bigger fish.
Flynn was forced to resign just days into President Trump’s presidency in January for not telling senior White House officials, including vice-president Mike Pence, the truth about his interactions with the Russian ambassador to the US.
But he has continued t enjoy the support of the president, who came to his aid once again on Friday, tweeting, “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
Flynn’s lawyer confirmed his client was in talks with the congressional panels about his testimony offer. “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should circumstances permit,” he said in a statement.
Flynn’s offer to testify comes amid allegations of White House trying to influence an investigation being conducted by the intelligence committee of the US House of Representatives in Russian meddling and alleged collusion by some of Trump campaign aides. The FBI and the intelligence committee of the Senate are carrying out separate probes.
His offer to testify against assurance of immunity was said to indicate he and his lawyers might be expecting legal problems.
Flynn, a former head of US military’s Defense Intelligence Agency, started out a close foreign policy adviser to Trump as a candidate and was among the new President’s first appointments as his national security adviser.
As the incoming NSA, Flynn had multiple contacts with the Russian envoy in DC Sergei Kislyak, especially on the day president Barack Obama announced a slew of sanctions against Moscow for the election interference.
Flynn was also present at a meeting the envoy had with the president-elect’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has since offered to testify before the congressional panels, about his interaction that included with a the head of a Russian bank sanctioned by the Obama administration after Crimea.
Flynn was also paid thousands of dollars by three Russian companies, including Russia Today that is said to a propaganda arm of Russian intelligence, for speeches he gave in Russia before he started advising Trump formally.
First Published: Mar 31, 2017 08:33 IST