The Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee said Friday that ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should not receive immunity from prosecution. He also said that Flynn’s attorney’s request Thursday for immunity would prompt a congressional investigator to “raise your eyebrows.”
“No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said in an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, referring to the term used by both Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, and President Donald Trump, who defended Flynn’s request for prosecutorial immunity on Friday.
“Look, it’s very mysterious to me, though, why all of a sudden General Flynn is suddenly out there saying he wants immunity,” Chaffetz continued. “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,” he said, before referring to the FBI: “They’re the ones that actually would prosecute something.”
“It doesn’t look good,” he said, asked if he thought immunity offers implied guilt of some kind – as Flynn himself said during the 2016 campaign.
Chaffetz said immunity ought to be granted “sparingly,” and criticized the Department of Justice’s decision to grant it to Clinton staffers during the investigation into her use of a private email server.
“Suddenly, then there was no case. We didn’t get the information,” he said of the staffers who received immunity in the Clinton investigation. “Nothing happened to anybody, nor did we get to the final bit of truth.”
Chaffetz said the investigations into Trump affiliates’ connections to Russia was still in its fact-finding stage, and said, referring to Kelner’s offer: “It’s way too early to suggest that, and you’d have to know what he’s going to give up.”
Kelner said in a letter Thursday that the Flynn “has a story to tell” but did not go into detail. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kelner made immunity deal offers to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and to the FBI, but found no takers.
“If all of the sudden, you have someone stand up and say ‘Hey, I need immunity,’ you kind of raise your eyebrows,” Chaffetz said. “Even Gen. Flynn, back in the day, used that same thing against Hillary Clinton.”
Watch Hemmer’s interview with Chaffetz below, via Fox News: