Donald Trump could be moving ever closer to impeachment after a report that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has offered to testify about Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Trump campaign has been accused of working closely with Russian intelligence officials on the release of damaging information obtained by hackers who accessed the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta. The emails were released through the organization WikiLeaks.
Flynn, who was fired from his post after it came out that he lied about contact with the Russian ambassador on the day President Obama announced sanctions against Russia, is now reportedly turning on Trump to testify about the potential collusion with Russia. A report from the Wall Street Journal claimed that Flynn is offering to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution — a sign that the investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia could end up with criminal charges for those involved.
As the Wall Street Journal report noted, Flynn may be fearful that he could face charges for his role in the campaign’s contact with Russia.
“It wasn’t clear if Mr. Flynn had offered to talk about specific aspects of his time working for Mr. Trump, but the fact that he was seeking immunity suggested Mr. Flynn feels he may be in legal jeopardy following his brief stint as the national security adviser, one official said.”
The offer to testify may also be a chance for Michael Flynn to distance himself from the allegations against Donald Trump. In a statement released after the Wall Street Journal report was published, Flynn’s attorney said Flynn has become the target of “unfounded allegations.”
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” Robert Kelner said in a statement (via The Hill).
“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.”
Donald Trump’s past statements have also come under fire in the wake of reports that Michael Flynn has offered to testify about collusion with Russia. During the 2016 campaign, both Trump and Flynn insinuated that immunity deals offered to aides of Hillary Clinton for her email investigation was proof that a crime had taken place.
There is also growing speculation that the investigation into potential coordination with Russia will lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment. The reports that Flynn might be flipping on Trump and working with the FBI had started to emerge days before Thursday’s report about his offer to testify, leading many to speculate that Flynn’s testimony could ultimately sink Trump.
The reports of Flynn’s offer to testify about Trump’s possible collusion with Russia comes at the same time that the Senate Intelligence Committee has opened its investigation into Russian interference with the election. On Thursday, Senator Mark Warner noted that the Kremlin employed an “army” of up to 1,000 online trolls to spread fake conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton.
Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, noted that Donald Trump himself pushed some of these fake stories, even reading from a fabricated Russian news report at a rally in October.
While the speculation about his impeachment mounts, Donald Trump has continued to deny having any collaboration with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
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