Michael Flynn might not be getting that immunity he's asked for.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has turned down the ousted national security adviser's request for immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony in its probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, reports NBC. The maneuver adds yet another wrinkle to the ongoing saga surrounding Russia, the Trump administration and the intelligence community.
A spokeswoman for Senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the committee declined to comment on the matter. A spokeswoman for Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the committee, did not return a request for comment.
The retired lieutenant general who was fired from the Trump administration in February told the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees through his lawyers he was willing to be interviewed in exchange for immunity, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.
Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, said in a statement that Flynn "certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit."
President Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to address the matter, saying that he believes Flynn "should ask for immunity" and calling the investigation a "witch hunt."
The tweet echoed language used by Flynn's lawyer, who said "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."
FBI Director James Comey confirmed last week that the agency is investigating Russia's meddling in the U.S. election and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Flynn, along with Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone, are among the names reportedly in the mix.
Observers were quick to point out the irony of Flynn's request for immunity given some of his past statements. In September 2016, when reports surfaced that some of Hillary Clinton's aides had been granted immunity in exchange for discussing her use of a private email server, Flynn linked immunity to guilt in an appearance on "Meet the Press."
"When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime," he said.