House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah presses Obama Administration officials from the State Department and Homeland Security on what safeguards are in place to ensure that would-be extremists are not exploiting a variety of legal paths to travel to the U.S., Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. At issue is how closely the U.S. government examines the background of people asking to come to the country, including reviews of their social media postings. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Jason Chaffetz: Why is Michael Flynn Asking for Immunity?

Thursday’s news that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had reached out to the FBI, as well as the House and Senate Intelligence committees, stating he was willing to testify, in exchange for immunity has raised a lot of questions.

Foremost has to be: Immunity from what?

Flynn was forced to step down from his role as national security adviser in February, after it was learned that he lied to Vice President Pence about conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

On Friday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to call the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election a “witch hunt” and said Flynn should seek immunity.

Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spoke with Fox News later in the morning and seemed to disagree with the president.

“No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Chaffetz said. “Look, it’s very mysterious to me, though, why all of a sudden General Flynn is suddenly out there saying he wants immunity. A, I don’t think Congress should give him immunity. If there’s an open investigation by the FBI, that should not happen. I also don’t believe that actually that the president should be weighing in on this. They’re the ones that actually would prosecute something.”

“And I don’t think Donald Trump should be weighing in on this at this point,” he said. “But I don’t think there should be given immunity, either. I mean, immunity from what? We don’t know what that is.”

I have to agree with Rep. Chaffetz, here.

We don’t know what this is.

I’ve heard from several lawyers who seem to be of the same belief, that when it comes to seeking immunity, it could be something, but could just as easily be a big, procedural nothingburger.

What does not need to happen is for a sitting president to take to social media and turn the heat up, by shining a bigger spotlight on the issue.

Let the process play out.

Asked if Flynn’s request for immunity indicated that he may be guilty of something, Chaffetz conceded that “it doesn’t look good.”

“If all of a sudden you have somebody stand up and say, ‘Hey, I need immunity,’ you know, it kinda raises your eyebrows,” he said. “Even General Flynn back in the day said and used that same thing against Hillary Clinton. So, you know, it comes around to bite you, and I just think they need to get to the facts.”

Chaffetz is referring to a comment Flynn made in September 2016, regarding the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, where her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and four aides all asked for immunity.

While speaking with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Flynn said you don’t ask for immunity unless you’re guilty of something.

Well, that’s unfortunate.

Chaffetz went on:

“There are some swirling things that need to be answered,” he added.

And he is right.

There are things that need to be answered, but with each new day, there seems to be another twist of intrigue to this tale.

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Susan Wright

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