Trump Changes Tune on Meaning of Immunity, Encourages Flynn to Pursue Deal

WASHINGTON — Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who was forced to resign from the Trump administration in February, is asking the FBI for immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony about the potential ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team and Russia.The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night that Flynn was seeking the deal. But what does it mean when someone requests immunity?In September, Flynn didn’t mince words: “When you are given immunity, that means that you’ve probably committed a crime.”Flynn was likely overstating it. In fact, requesting immunity is not akin to an admission of guilt. Federal prosecutors grant various forms of immunity to witnesses for a variety of reasons, largely because Americans have a constitutional right against self-incrimination.“Even if [a witness has] done nothing wrong, there’s this fear that something they say could be used against them,” Todd Bussert, a federal criminal defense attorney, told The Washington Post on Friday morning.But last year, when the Justice Department granted immunity to several people who worked with Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, as part of an investigation into her use of a private email server, Flynn and Trump were quick to say the staffers had something to hide.“Immunity!” Trump told a booing crowd in Melbourne, Fla. “If you’re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for?”“Have you ever seen anything so corrupt in your life? Have you ever seen a greater embarrassment to our country?” Trump added.Flynn also emphasized that Clinton was probably guilty during his September appearance on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.  Continue reading...

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