Tags: michael flynn | immunity | russia | testimony | white house | ethics | lawyers

Former WH Ethics Lawyers: Give Michael Flynn Immunity

Image: Former WH Ethics Lawyers: Give Michael Flynn Immunity
Gen. Michael Flynn (AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 31 Mar 2017 06:38 PM

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should be granted immunity for his testimony on possible ties to Russia because "the stakes are too high to wait," two former White House ethics lawyers said Friday.

"The president tweeted on Friday morning that he supported Mr. Flynn's request for immunity," Richard Painter and Norman Eisen said in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. "Although we do not think it is proper for [President Donald] Trump to insert himself into the investigation, we agree on that point, at least.

"Immunity should be granted as soon as Congress and prosecutors are persuaded that Mr. Flynn has information that will lead to a criminal case against one or more people at least as important to the alleged wrongdoing as Mr. Flynn may be.

"The overriding objective must be learning who if anyone in the United States collaborated with the Russians as well as who knew about it, what they knew and when they knew it," they said.

Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, served former Republican President George W. Bush. Eisen, who is the chairman of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, worked for former President Barack Obama.

The former ethics czars said that Flynn's immunity request on Thursday was "the latest development in a scandal more frightening than Watergate because it involves a foreign adversary attacking the American political system.

"We need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible."

Generally, prosecutors "spend a lot of time developing a case before they ask a judge for an order granting immunity," they said.

"This case is different from ordinary criminal investigations," however. "Finding the truth is even more important than punishing the guilty, because it is critical to our national security and the future of our democracy."

Painter and Eisen also called for an independent investigation to keep those "who could possibly be a subject or target" of any probe from being involved in decision-making.

That includes President Trump, as well as his appointees to the White House and the Justice Department.

But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes should also recuse himself from his panel's inquiry because he has been "treating the Trump-Russia investigation as a partisan issue," they said.

Nunes, the California Republican, has created "a farce by running over to the White House to give and receive information in the dark of night, and even to possibly publicly divulge classified information.

"Because this scandal involves the hostile acts of a foreign adversary, it is a national security issue," Painter and Eisen concluded. "We now have a witness who may help us get to the bottom of it.

"A prompt and proper grant of immunity can maximize our chances of finding out what happened — and making sure that those who may have betrayed the United States are never in a position to do so again."

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Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should be granted immunity for his testimony on possible ties to Russia because "the stakes are too high to wait," two former White House ethics lawyers said Friday.
michael flynn, immunity, russia, testimony, white house, ethics, lawyers
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2017-38-31
Friday, 31 Mar 2017 06:38 PM
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