United States ex-national security adviser asks for immunity to testify on Russian Federation

Darin HammondApr 04, 2017

The White House is spinning this as Walsh departing to launch a pro-Trump group America First Policies, because, in part, it didn't have "air cover" when it came to the health care effort.

That prompted the President to say he felt "somewhat" vindicated in his unsubstantiated allegations that then President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap on him.

"It certainly is an attempt to distract and to hide the origin of the materials, to hide the White House hand", Schiff said. The FBI is also conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign. There are also some open questions about whether Flynn told the truth in his background check.

Congressional committees, along with the FBI, are investigating what US intelligence agencies have concluded were attempts by Russian Federation to influence the November 8 presidential election in Trump's favour.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has just started its investigation into Russia's influence in the past presidential election and is "not ready" yet to consider Gen. Michael Flynn's request for immunity in testifying about his role in potential collusion, Sen.

Mr Trump said that Mr Flynn was right to ask for immunity, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a "witch hunt". That assertion is belied by seriousness of the machinery that is moving forward at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and on Capitol Hill. That's 25 years. The investigation will take months, if not longer, which means the White House and the president will continue to be dogged by Russian Federation questions, process or not, for quite some time.

Mr Flynn was sacked in February after misleading the White House about his conversations with a Russian envoy.

The Nunes episode illustrates the compounding nature of the problem.

At the time, Spicer was asked whether anyone in the White House had been involved in supplying the intelligence information to Nunes. "I never, ever briefed a USA congressman on anything in that capacity, and I'm not aware of anyone who did when I was there". John McCain said Nunes had "killed" the bipartisan cooperation needed for the House to have a successful investigation and pointed to the Senate intelligence committee as a hopeful example of a productive, bipartisan dynamic.

"It was represented to me that these are precisely the same materials that were provided to the chairman over a week ago", said Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. He offered no answers about possible White House involvement with Nunes.

Schiff went to the White House on Friday to view the documents. Cohen was brought to the National Security staff by Flynn and named to the sensitive position of senior director for intelligence. Keeping Cohen in his post would have been a favor to Cohen and thus also to Flynn.

Trump nevertheless encouraged Flynn's move in a tweet that appeared to lay down a challenge.

Flynn was sacked from that position after misrepresenting the contents of a conversation with the Russian ambassador in December, before Trump took office and shortly after the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia for its cyberattacks that attempted to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Trump's favor. The next day, the story changed: Trump had lost confidence in Flynn and asked for the resignation.

"Sometimes I think this is a distraction from what we should be doing", Cornyn said on CBS' "Face the Nation". Once again on Friday, the president came to Flynn's defense as the investigation deepens.

President Trump tweeted that Obama "had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower" and accused him of being a "bad" or "sick guy". But he unintentionally set the White House on a path that has led to this moment.

Q: If Congress chooses to grant immunity, what impact might that have on any criminal investigation?

The pace of developments over the last day reveal the mass of problems now beginning to pile up on Trump's White House, as the President's personal political standing continues to decline after only three months.

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