It was reported that Mike Flynn offered to testify in the Democrats’ probe into alleged Russian connections with the Trump administration in exchange for immunity. If you read the statement released by Mike Flynn’s lawyer, he doesn’t quite come out and say ‘immunity.’ Rather, he says that he wants ‘assurances against unfair prosecution.’ I suppose that’s as close to requesting immunity as you can get without using the word. Here’s how Flynn’s lawyer concluded his statement:
“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.”
And we’re just now finding out – as of this writing – that the Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected Flynn’s offer to testify in exchange for immunity:
The Senate Intelligence Committee turned down the request by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer for a grant of immunity in exchange for his testimony, two congressional sources told NBC News.
The senior congressional official also said that Flynn’s lawyer had conveyed the offer of testimony in exchange for immunity from prosecution to the Justice Department.
The media has been using Mike Flynn’s words during the campaign to point out his apparent inconsistency. He had said last year that when people are given immunity in order to testify during an investigation, that means they’re guilty of crimes. So, since Flynn is asking for immunity, does that mean that he’s committed crimes?
I think his comments during the presidential campaign were shortsighted. It would be like claiming someone must be guilty of a crime simply because he invoked his 5th Amendment right not to incriminate himself. Invoking the 5th Amendment is often a good idea when you’re dealing with an overly aggressive police force and prosecutor who are simply looking for anything for which to jail you.
I’d say Flynn – and others – has found himself in a similar environment. The Democrats are looking for absolutely anything at all – even if it’s ‘Russian salad dressing‘ – that might make him appear guilty of something. They’re not going to grant him immunity. Their goal is to take him and Trump’s administration down. Giving official immunity would defeat that purpose.
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