President Trump on Friday encouraged his former national security adviser to seek immunity in order to avoid falling victim to what he said is a media-led “witch hunt.”
“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!” Trump wrote in an early morning tweet.
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, was offering to be interviewed by the FBI and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees in exchange for immunity.
The FBI and congressional committees are investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the election. Flynn, who is said to be one of the targets of the investigation, was fired after 24 days as national security adviser after it emerged that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about phone calls he had in December with Russia’s ambassador. (RELATED: Flynn Reportedly Tells FBI: I’ll Testify In Exchange For Immunity)
Trump’s reference to a “witch hunt” echoes a statement issued on Thursday by Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner.
“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,” Kelner wrote in a statement.
They lawyer did not confirm that Flynn has been in contact with the FBI about a possible immunity deal, but he did say that discussions have occurred between Flynn’s legal team and the Intelligence Committees.
“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,” Kelner wrote.
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” he added.
Kelner went on to assert that “the media are awash with unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against” Flynn.
“He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated.”
Trump’s suggestion for Flynn would seek to undercut comments he made in September after it was revealed that aides to Hillary Clinton received immunity from prosecution in the email investigation.
“If you’re not guilty of a crime what do you need immunity for, right?” Trump said at the time.