By INDIRA MOOSAI
Michael T. Flynn is the former national security advisor to President Donald J. Trump. As of March 30, Flynn offered to be interviewed by the House and Senate on the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, according to The Wall Street Journal. In exchange, he wants to be granted immunity from prosecution, leading one to believe that the information he holds must be potentially illegal. As stated in The New York Times, a congressional official said investigators are unwilling to take Flynn up on his offer yet, because they want to further inquire and understand what information Flynn could bring to the table.
This situation is being investigated by the FBI to see if Trump’s advisors conspired with the Russian government to influence or disrupt the 2016 election. It’s highly likely, based on this fact, that something fishy is going on, and it would be worth granting immunity to Flynn to get the information he has to offer.
Flynn has not had the best track record when it comes to political matters within the past year. According to The Washington Post, Flynn resigned from his position as Trump’s national security advisor because of the “cumulative effect” of damaging news coverage on his conversations with the Russian envoy. In his resignation letter, he stated that he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President-Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and vice president.” As stated in CNN, by the phone calls, Flynn means the topic of whether or not he discussed U.S. sanctions with Moscow’s ambassador before the inauguration. In addition, he only stayed in this position for 24 days.
Clearly, Flynn’s relationship with Russia is complicated; with the strange phone calls and “damaging news coverage” leading to his resignation, he seems to have some connection to Russia. According to CNN, in January 2017 the Justice Department warned the Trump Administration that Flynn misled administration officials regarding communication with the Russian ambassador and, in doing so, left the U.S. vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. From Flynn’s actions of misleading, to resigning, it seems he has a lot of information that could be valuable to the FBI’s investigation. The fact that Flynn “misled” administrative officials is disturbing, leading one to believe the information he holds could open up a can of worms.
The resurfaced politician makes for an interesting turn in seemingly solidifying the sketchy business between the U.S. and Russia and his possibly illegal involvement. Flynn even stated in an interview with MSNBC this past September, “When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.”
However, it could be possible that Flynn is just asking for what is common practice in investigations. According to The New York Times, it is common for witnesses to demand immunity in exchange for testimony, so that they cannot be prosecuted because of their words; also, Congress is allowed to grant witnesses immunity, but lawmakers usually do this after consulting with prosecutors.
Immunity should be granted to Flynn, as the information he reveals could be vital to the U.S.; blackmail is a threat that should be taken seriously, and disruption of the presidential election could have major effects on both international and domestic laws. Given his history with Russia and his shady political track record, Flynn may have the answers we’ve been searching for – answers are more beneficial than Flynn’s prosecution.