March 31, 2017

What Is Michael Flynn’s Game?

Why is Trump’s former national security adviser seeking immunity?

By Phillip Carter

News leaked on Thursday evening that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was shopping his testimony regarding the Trump administration’s Russia ties to anyone who might listen. Specifically, the former national security adviser is saying he’s willing to talk to the FBI and both the House and Senate intelligence committees. The price? In his lawyer’s words, “assurances against unfair prosecution.”

Whether Flynn deserves the requested immunity or not, or whether he will get it, and from whom, all remain unanswered questions. At this point, the Justice Department and Congress—which has its own narrow immunity authority—should probably decline Flynn’s bid because they know too little about the matter to judge whether Flynn’s price is right. (The reporting thus far is that he’s found no takers.)

Based on what’s been publicly reported, Flynn faces a long list of potential federal charges. Flynn’s conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak arguably violate the Logan Act, an arcane federal law prohibiting diplomacy by private citizens. These conversations happened during the transition and Logan Act violations are almost never prosecuted, so Flynn probably has a good defense.

Read the full article at Slate.

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