WASHINGTON: Ousted White House national security advisor Michael Flynn has offered to provide testimony to officials investigating alleged ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, in exchange for immunity from prosecution, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
According to the daily, Flynn proposed his deal to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Flynn, a close advisor on Trump’s 2016 campaign, was forced to step down as Trump’s national security advisor last month, after it emerged he had made misleading statements about talks he had held with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak concerning Washington’s sanctions on Moscow over its alleged cyber hacking to meddle in the presidential election to favor a Trump win.
The Journal said it wasn’t clear what exactly Flynn had offered to discuss. But it quoted one unnamed official as saying the retired army general’s bid for immunity suggested potential “legal jeopardy.”
Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, said in a statement tweeted late Thursday that “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.”
At least four separate congressional investigations are underway into allegations that Moscow tried to swing November’s presidential election in Trump’s favor, as questions swirl about whether some in the Republican’s inner circle colluded with Russia.
A former US military intelligence chief, Flynn was generously paid to attend a gala of Russia’s RT television in late 2015, where he sat together with Putin, raising suspicions among some critics about too-close ties with Moscow.
His ouster came amid controversy over his discussions with Kislyak in late December, when the Obama administration was hitting Russia with retaliatory sanctions and expulsions for its election interference.
Soon after Flynn resigned, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any Russia-related inquiries, following the revelation that he, too, also met with Kislyak before Trump took office – contrary to Sessions’s testimony during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.