In Like Flynn? General Reportedly Offer To Testify In Exchange for Immunity

Washington is abuzz with the news that former national security adviser Michael Flynn has offered to cooperate with congressional investigators in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The offer was reportedly made by his lawyer to both the FBI and Congress.  This has triggered a gleeful media frenzy as commentators hold forth on what damaging information Flynn might offer in exchange for immunity.  However, the offer could also reflect a general preference of lawyers for immunity before allowing their clients to face potentially wide ranging interrogations or testimony. Update: President Trump has said that Flynn should demand immunity.

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, offered a tantalizing hint to Congress and said “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”  He added “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. But it is important to acknowledge the circumstances in which those discussions are occurring.’’

That is substantially short of a standard proffer of what a witness might offer.  It is not clear if a proffer was supplied to the Justice Department.  Flynn is the type of high ranking official that is the subject of immunity given to others as a target for prosecution.  The problem with being high up in government is that there are few people higher for the purposes of targeting.  People get immunity to incriminate the Flynns of the world. With the exception of the President himself, it is hard to see who Flynn could offer as a possible target in exchange for his own immunity.

Congress could grant Flynn testimonial immunity, though that would only protect him from the use of his testimony in a later prosecution. If he did not get immunity, he could plead the Fifth Amendment as did  former IRS official Lois Lerner.  Lermer refused to testify after Congress declined to give her immunity.  The problem is that an immunity grant can undermine later prosecutions, even simple testimonial immunity.  We saw those problems in the attempt to prosecute Oliver North.  Immunity for Flynn could make any possible criminal charges less likely since he is alleged (without any clear proof) to have served as a key conduit to the Russians.  Much like the immunity deals handed out by the Obama Administration, such a deal could cap the possible damage from any investigation.


I would be surprised for any attorney not to seek immunity in these circumstance.  Flynn would be asked an assortment questions by both the FBI and Congress.  Any misleading or false answer could result in charges under 18 USC 1001 or related laws.  When you add the heavy political objectives behind various parties, this testimony is fraught with dangers. I would have asked for immunity in such a case for a client but the question now is whether Flynn offered a proffer that incriminated any other officials.  Unless a proffer is supplied, the prosecution could by a “pig in a poke.”


118 thoughts on “In Like Flynn? General Reportedly Offer To Testify In Exchange for Immunity”

  1. Didn’t Flynn once say immunity deals implied criminal activity? Either he was telling the truth or he is just an ass with a big mouth.

    I am sick our country has come to this. Bickering and name calling. Deals to reap profit from public service. Trump is president because the two major political parties f’d things up so badly. Turns out he is just an ass and profit motivated as the Rs and Ds. The country was not quite ready for a shakeup in 92 with Ross Perot. He was odd and now on 16 we get the Donald. Sesh. Sad, so sad.

    1. It is sad that both parties nominated individuals that were under FBI investigation.

      1. It is sad that the FBI has become so politicized. Along with Obama’s DOJ under both Holder and Lynch. And Obama’s IRS. And Obama’s State Dept. under Hillary Clinton. Was there anything that didn’t become politicized under Obama?


    Hillary Clinton aides had access to State Dept. after she left, says key lawmaker

    When Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State in 2013, she negotiated continuing access to classified and top-secret documents for herself and six staffers under the designation “research assistants,” according to a powerful senator who notes that Clinton was later deemed “extremely careless” with such information.

    The staff apparently retained access even after Clinton announced her run for president in April 2015, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The access was ostensibly granted to facilitate work on Clinton’s memoir, but Grassley said he was only able to verify it after the Obama administration left the White House.

  3. “With the exception of the President himself, it is hard to see who Flynn could offer as a possible target in exchange for his own immunity.”

    Then you need to have your eyes checked. He is a former National Security Advisor who first served with the Obama administration (not including his military career). It is not unreasonable to conclude this man had access to information that could harm a great many people.

  4. Geez Mr Turley, your blog is attracting the irrational these days. Helping the enemy used to be called treason, now its called being a republican.

  5. So suppose that several people like Flynn, Kushner, Manafort, Tillerson, Turmp thought it made sense to work with the Russian government and Russian investors because it makes sense to get along with everyone and to do business wherever a profit can be made. Yet political forces are able to frame such natural behaviors into something sinister. That’s why he needs immunity.

    1. Mespo, didn’t you love James Conburn as Flint? Judging from your other comments I’m sure that was a movie you’d have watched on a Saturday afternoon back when there were only 3 channels and UHF.
      I loved the way his watch had that armature that came out and pecked his wrist as he was power napping between two chairs on at his head and the other at his feet.

      1. Roscoe – it is James Coburn and he was cooler than James Bond. He was my idol. 🙂 I wanted one of the phones from the UN or whatever it was that had that strange ring tone.

        1. Paul Schulte….
          “The President’s Analyst” was my favorite Coburn film.
          The segment where he hid out with the “typical American family” (who were armed to the teeth) was a riot.

          1. tnash – The President’s Analyst was a very funny film. I have to watch that again. He was sooooooo paranoid. And rightly so.

          1. Reminds me of the J.P. Patches show. For a few years, this was the first sound played in the intro.

  6. Nancy Pelosi seeks Flynn’s spirit like Jezebel. Witchcraft.

    1. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit target the leader. They usually offer to help where help is desperately needed, either in administration, intercession or some other area that puts them close to the leader.
    2. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit make false covenants they don’t intend to keep in order to gain position. “I will fight with you. I will stand with you. I don’t give up easy. No matter what happens, I will have your back.”
    3. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit seem spiritual to outsiders. They come in talking about their prayer lives and 40-day fasts. They exuberantly share what they see in the spirit realm. They may pray eloquent prayers and prophesy encouraging words to members over in the corner where no one else can hear. They gather people to themselves.
    4. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit seek to isolate the leader from others who can speak into their lives and especially prophetic people who could identify them.
    5. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit pit people against each other in the ministry—and will ultimately pit people against you. People who threaten them are set up and chased out.
    6. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit play the victim. They want your pity.
    7. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit are never wrong. The problem is always with someone else and never them. If they do repent, it’s a false repentance to stay on your good side.
    8. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit seem humble, but it’s false humility—it’s a religious spirit.
    9. People influenced by the Jezebel spirit really feel self-important. Remember, that woman Jezebel called herself a prophetess (Rev. 2:20). They have to have their way—and they manipulate to get it.
    10. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit will not be accountable to anyone. If anyone tries to bring accountability, they accuse them of being a Jezebel.
    11. People with a Jezebel spirit look for those who are hurt and wounded or insecure and become their prophet, teacher and spiritual guide. They draw people to themselves, who become their eunuchs.
    12. People with a Jezebel spirit will try to guilt you if you don’t bow to their needs. They will tell you that you aren’t operating in the fruit of the Spirit or acting Christ like as a ploy to get you to submit to what they want.
    13. Jezebel will try to operate through people with insecurity, emotional instability, pride, arrogance, manipulation and control.
    14. People influenced by a Jezebel spirit will twist the facts. They have selective memory. They are smooth and slick and almost convince you that they are right.
    15. People influenced by an advanced Jezebel spirit will actually start praying witchcraft prayers against you—praying their own will rather than God’s will. “Lord, remove that person from that position. That position belongs to me.”

  7. Are there two kinds of immunity: one from the Congress which only applies to testimony to them and their ability to hold you harmful and one from the Dept. of Justice which applies to their ability to prosecute you for criminal activity? Then immunity from state prosecutions.

    This guy ought to take the Fifth. And the Second as well. He ought to bear arms or arm bears where ever he goes.

    And if he “is in like Flynn” then he must wear a condom.

  8. Prosecutors frequently make deals with the big fish in order to catch the little fish. This is not terribly fair, but it is the way prosecutors work. Big fish are generally smarter than the little fish, and have an exit strategy already planned out in the event they are caught. The exit strategy often involves making a deal with the government which is all too ready to make the deal. The result is that the big fish get off easier than the little fish that they probably lured into the criminal enterprise in the first place. The only thing just about this whole process is that the prosecutors sometimes double-cross the big fish and ask for a long sentence when all of the snitching is done.

  9. Why not give Flynn immunity? Immunity was given to people who knew about Hillary’s private email server.

  10. If I was Flynn’s attorney, I would demand immunity. I have watched those hearings and they can be a nightmare. One verbal misstep and you are looking at a perjury charge.

    1. Yep. One misstatement and somebody is hollering perjury and coverup, etc. For example,

      Q: Did you meet with any Russian higher-up as a member of the Trump Campaign?

      N. No, I did not.

      Q. Wait, you said previously that you met with Boris and Natasha at Secrets Night Club! Perjury! Perjury!

      N. No, I did not meet with AS A MEMBER OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. I met with them as a fellow drunk!

      Q: Too late for that! You lied under oath!

      Now, which version of that testimony do you think the MSM is going to run with???

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  11. I can find absolutely nowhere no matter how radically biased in any direction anything that states what the content of the offered information might be. Traditionally asking for immunity is an admission of possible or probable or known guilt but has nothing to do with the actual content or action.

    The rest is pure BS, conjectiure and wishful thinking wild assed guesses

    So far the offer has been refused meaning he can be ignored or compelled to appear. and of course has laid himself open to official investigations. of a law enrorcement nature.

    So when is the interest against the known contacts and known payoffs and known conspiracy between Clintons and Russia going to take place or is that what’s already under investigation by three FBI probes and one IRS probe?

  12. It’s rich how the Orange Snowflake gets credit for dropping Flynn while the Snowflake is the one who appointed Flynn in the first place.

    “I’m like a smart person, ok.”

    1. Again, another progressive who forgot to compare Trump to Hitler. That’s twice on the same page. What’s up?

    2. +1 That enjoyable quote should be added to Trump’s greatest hits, volume one.

      An immunity deal for Flynn would stink. It would get him out of the frying pan, and he’s polished enough to lie his way out of a perjury allegation if he bent otherwise unknowable facts to Trump’s liking. No wonder Trump thinks Flynn should demand immunity. Luckily, we can be comforted that there’d be no influence from Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the assigned prosecutor, Jared Kushner.

      Mr. Turley, thanks for your thoughts.

  13. Didn’t VP Pence debunk this? It’s difficult to filter through the crappola the MSM churns out.

    1. Because Pence doesn’t lie? Did you watch te campaign or the VP-Debates? He swore Trump never said or did things where the video was readily available.

      1. Pence “swore?” Hyperbole much? Links?

        You forgot to compare him to Hitler this time. Please correct that now.

    2. If you mean the Left Stream Medium that’ s a given. Fox has shifted left itself to become the new mainstream media to filliln the empty slot as the others went Deep Extremist Left.

      1. Deep Extremist Left. Capitals and everything. They probably have secret meetings.

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