Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is in discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees on receiving immunity from “unfair prosecution” in exchange for agreeing to be questioned as part of ongoing probes into possible contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, his attorney said Thursday.
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” said Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner. Kelner said no “reasonable person” with legal counsel would answer questions without assurances that he would not be prosecuted, given calls from some members of Congress that the retired lieutenant general should face criminal charges.
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.
Kelner released a statement after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Flynn’s negotiations with the committee included discussions of immunity. The lawyer described the talks as ongoing and said he would not comment on the details. 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.
“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,” Kelner said.
In September, Flynn weighed in on the implications of immunity on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her associates in the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private email server. “When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime,” Flynn said during the interview.