Hits and Misses

Hits and Misses

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

Goodness how delicious: To see the chickens coming home to roost!  On April 3, 2017, Charles Blow commented in The New York Times that Michael Flynn had offered to give testimony to the Congressional committees investigating the Trump's campaign's relationships to Russia:  "Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has offered to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators who are examining the Trump campaign's ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer and a congressional official."

Last fall, The Washington Post reported that Michael Flynn appeared on "Meet the Press" as a key campaign aide to Donald Trump.  Speaking about the reports circulating that aides to Hilary Clinton had been granted immunity so that they could be forthcoming to the FBI about Hilary's private email server, Flynn declared, "When you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime."

In my post of April 17, 2017, I suggested that we could call this remark of Flynn's a boomerang statement, on the grounds that after the statement hits the airwaves it returns to smack the speaker in the mouth.  And yesterday, December 1, 2017, as part of the special counsel Robert S. Mueller's relentless investigation, Flynn admitted committing a crime.  Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about the content of his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, last December.  Unfortunately for Flynn, he is not getting immunity for his crime.

Sentencing is being deferred, presumably as a stick to ensure Flynn's continued cooperation and as a carrot to ensure minimal or no jail time.  As the editorial board of The New York Times commented today, Mr. Mueller has no reason to go easy on recommending Flynn's sentence unless Flynn has valuable information.  One piece of this information would be naming the "very senior member" of Trump's transition team who directed Flynn to talk to Kislyak about a United Nations Security Council resolution.  That person could well be Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, who perhaps was acting on his own--or perhaps was not.

Will Flynn say that Trump himself directed him to communicate with the Russians?  If so, when,  what about, and how often?  The circumstantial evidence hardly favors Trump. After Flynn was fired as national security adviser, Trump tried again and again to get Flynn off the hook, even to the extent of directing Sessions to fire the FBI director, James Comey.  Why, precisely?  Just how deep does this rot go?

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