Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn has reportedly told the FBI and investigators looking into President Donald Trump’s alleged campaign ties to Russia that he would submit himself to be interviewed in exchange for immunity, according to officials cited by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Robert Kelner, the attorney representing Flynn, has reportedly made the offer to the FBI and the intelligence committees in both the House and Senate in order to avoid ‘unfair prosecution,’ however, so far, none of the officials have accepted Flynn’s terms, The Journal reported.
One of the newspaper’s sources added that given the nature of Flynn’s willingness to come forward with his testimony, he may be in legal jeopardy for his short tenure as one of the top security officials in the US.
In a statement by Kelner released on Thursday, he wrote:
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.
Out of respect for the Committees, we will not comment right now on the details of discussions between counsel for General Flynn and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, other than to confirm that those discussions have taken place.”
“Notwithstanding his life of national service, the media are awash with unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against him. He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated. 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.”
Though offering to testify may have been one the few legal recourses left for Flynn, in an interview with MSNBC commentator Chuck Todd in September 2016, he was quoted as saying, “When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime,” as he referenced the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal.
As a security adviser who handled matters of utmost sensitivity, Flynn had access to top-secret materials and was allegedly involved in discussions regarding potential lifting of sanctions on Russia that were initiated in the last weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration.
Flynn eventually resigned, following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his phone conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during Trump’s transition to the Oval Office.
Flynn said he apologised to Pence in February, saying he may have discussed the Obama administration’s sanctions with Kislyak before Trump was sworn in, which would have been a breach of protocol. Prior to this revelation, Flynn adamantly contended that US sanctions never came up during his conversations with Kislyak.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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