Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Opinion: Uh, oh: Ex-aide to Trump seeks immunity to testify


Attorneys for Gen. Michael Flynn have announced that while Flynn is prepared to testify to the House and Senate intelligence committees, and while he "certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it," Flynn will do so only if he is given "assurances against unfair prosecution."

In other words, he wants immunity. According to the Wall Street Journal, Flynn's attorneys have also made the same offer to the FBI:

Here's the statement:

 

That's a huge development. The man who stood before the Republican National Convention leading the crowd in a "Lock her up!" chant, the man appointed by President Trump as his national security adviser and who served as a conduit to Russian officials, claims to have inside knowledge that is worth exchanging for a promise not to be prosecuted.

The offer of immunity in exchange for testimony has not yet been accepted, and probably won't be for a while. Immunity questions are typically decided late in an investigation rather than early. I'd also like to add this important cautionary note: The statement from Flynn's lawyer may tell us more about Flynn's personal criminal exposure for work for Turkey, Russia and other foreign interests through his own company, the Flynn Intel Group, than for his work with the Trump administration.

That said, given Flynn's close proximity to Trump during crucial periods of the campaign, it could also presage something enormous and history-altering. He can only win immunity if he has something that investigators want to hear about other people.

UPDATE at 7:05 a.m.:

 


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.