Words can come back to bite you.
Last September during the US presidential campaigns, Michael Flynn went onto NBC’s Meet the Press and complained about associates of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton having immunity.
“Five people around her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff. When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime,” said Flynn, then an adviser to the Trump campaign. He was referring to the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was US secretary of state.
Yesterday (March 30) the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) that Flynn himself is now seeking immunity.
Flynn informed the FBI and congressional officials looking into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia that he’s willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, the paper reported. He made the offer through his attorney, Robert Kelner.
Flynn “certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” Kelner told the Journal.
In mid-February Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser after it emerged he’d misled White House officials about the kind of conversations he had during the presidential transition with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US. The FBI is investigating whether Trump’s campaign personnel colluded with Russian officials who allegedly interfered with the election.
Kelner argued it was understandable for Flynn to seek immunity: “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.”
As the Atlantic points out, “A request for immunity isn’t an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It may be sought by witnesses who fear that their words could be used against them, as a condition of their testimony.”
Either way, Flynn is likely regretting his words from September right about now.