Former national security adviser Mike Flynn arrives for a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn arrives for a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Michael Flynn in talks with Congress, wary of prosecution

By Chad Day, Eileen Sullivan and Julie Pace / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — 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 says.

“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” attorney Robert Kelner said Thursday.

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.

Trump weighed in Friday, tweeting that Flynn “should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”

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.

A congressional aide confirmed that discussions with the Senate intelligence committee involved immunity. The aide was not authorized to discuss private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

House intelligence committee spokesman Jack Langer said Flynn has not offered to testify to the panel in exchange for immunity.

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.

“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.

Flynn was fired from his job as Trump’s first national security adviser after it was disclosed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence 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.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A driver struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair Saturday in Lynnwood. (Lynnwood police)
Woman on wheelchair hit by car in Lynnwood, seriously hurt

The woman was on a sidewalk, passing by a drive-thru in Lynnwood, when a driver pulled out and hit her.

A barge worker hauls in an oil boom before heading off with the remains of the Mukilteo Ferry Dock ramp and pier on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Mukilteo, Washington. With the new dock in operation, all that is left is to tear down the old ticket building. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Old Mukilteo ferry dock afloat on the barge of ‘Lincoln Logs’

The haul included 213 wood pilings, 15 concrete pilings, 47 steel pilings and a “Speed Limit 15” sign.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Samantha Lake
Missing girl, 12, found safely

Seattle FBI located Samantha Lake on Friday.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Jeanette Ho Shin Weddell, 96, died of COVID-19 on Dec. 29, 2020. (Contributed photo)
Marysville grandmother, 96, was one in half a million lost

In a week when the president took time to mourn COVID deaths, local families were grieving, too.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$6 million grant is green light for Darrington timber center

The Darrington Wood Innovation Center is set to become a reality — bringing roughly 150 jobs with it.

Report shows vaccine inequities in Snohomish County

The county’s Hispanic population is getting doses at a third of the rate of white residents.

Most Read