Russia. Flynn and the 2016 elections: the truth and nothing but

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Retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn headed the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was forced out by the Obama administration. He is presently one of the focal points in the investigation of Russia’s involvement in the last presidential election.  He started advising the Trump campaign in 2015.

He was President Trump’s national security adviser for three weeks, but was forced to  resign for what the Trump administration said was misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn Caught in Photo with Putin

A photo surfaced showing Flynn at a Dec. 10, 2015 event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Russia Today (RT) television news channel in Moscow. (Mikhail Klimentyev / Kremlin via Reuters, file.)  He was sitting next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. RT is a state-sponsored media organization.  The U.S. considers it to be a propaganda outlet for the Russian government..

Flynn was paid $45,000 plus expenses to speak.  He was already an adviser to presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Later, on the day that President Obama announced the imposition of sanctions against Russia as punishment for interfering in the U.S. election, Flynn spoke on the phone with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.

According to NBC News, a U.S. intelligence official told the station that Flynn had talked with Kislyak about the hacking-related sanctions.  Flynn told the Washington Post the allegation wasn’t true, that he didn’t discuss sanctions with Kislyak. Later on, however, he said he couldn’t remember whether he and Kislyak had discussed sanctions or not.

Rumors about Flynn’s dealings with the Russians began escalating.  Treason was mentioned and calls for his arrest and prosecution were made.  With things heating up, Flynn told the FBI he would be willing to testify provided he received a grant of immunity from prosecution. The offer produced additional speculation that he was involved in something criminal with the Russians, with the unanswered question being: was he acting at the direction of now-President Trump?

Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, responded to the increasing speculation about his client by releasing a written statement saying that “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit. . . . Notwithstanding his life of national service, the media are awash with unfounded allegations, outrageous claims of treason, and vicious innuendo directed against him. He is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated.”

He explained Flynn’s request for immunity, saying: “No reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”

Maybe because of the way Kelner phrased the investigation– a “witch  hunt”– the Senate Intelligence Committee said no to the immunity request.  It wouldn’t be a good thing to give him immunity, then have him lie about his or President Trump’s dealings with the Russians and the presidential elections.

What we need now is the truth and nothing but the truth.