Michael Flynn: Donald Trump's former aide said seeking immunity 'means you've probably committed a crime'

Clip of old interview resurfaces amid gathering storm around sacked national security adviser

Jon Sharman
Friday 31 March 2017 08:08 BST
Michael Flynn once said anyone seeking immunity 'probably committed a crime'

A former member of Donald Trump's administration reportedly seeking immunity from prosecution if he testifies about alleged Russia links once said being given the protection means "you've probably committed a crime".

Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser after failing to disclose talks with Russia's ambassador to the US about sanctions on Moscow, has offered to cooperate with the House and Senate intelligence committees' investigation of potential ties between Mr Trump's Presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

Now an old clip of Mr Flynn speaking during the campaign has resurfaced, in which he says being afforded the protection he now reportedly wants is a indication of wrongdoing.

Mr Flynn told NBC's Chuck Todd in 2016: "The very last thing that [Democratic campaign manager] John Podesta just said is, 'No individual too big to jail'. That should include people like Hillary Clinton.

"I mean, five people around her have been given immunity, to include her former chief of staff. When you are given immunity that means that you've probably committed a crime."

On Thursday night Mr Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, released a statement saying his client "certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit".

"No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicised, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution," he added.

The 58-year-old retired US Army lieutenant general found himself at the centre of a gathering storm in February after it emerged he had spoken with a Russian diplomat about the issue of US sanctions before Mr Trump took office, and indicated the relationship between the two countries would improve under a new administration.

Sanctions had been imposed by Barack Obama in response to Russia’s alleged cyber-interference in the presidential election.

Mr Flynn had originally denied discussing sanctions with senior officials, including Mike Pence. But when it emerged that US intelligence officials had been monitoring the call to the Russian Ambassador to Washington, Mr Flynn had to reverse course.

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