Donald Trump asked then FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump did this because Flynn “is a good guy.” Trump did not want the investigation stopped because Flynn is a good guy. He wanted it ended because of what Flynn knows. Trump has asked Senators to end their investigations of Flynn also. Flynn might be the only person other than Vladimir Putin who Trump hasn’t derided or made an immature nickname for…yet.
Flynn was by Trump’s side through much of the campaign. After Trump secured the Republican nomination, he started receiving security briefings. Flynn attended these briefings which included details on Russia’s meddling in our election. During this time and after Trump won the presidency, Flynn was in secret talks with Russia trying to undermine current U.S. foreign policy.
Flynn was working as a lobbyist for the Turkish government while he was working on the Trump campaign and advocated for the U.S. government to expel a rebel cleric and enemy of the Turkish president. He lied about his involvement with Turkey on his foreign-agent disclosure forms.
Flynn also failed to report to the Defense Department’s inspector general’s office about his trip to Russia, where he sat next to Putin during a celebration for a Russian propaganda outlet. He also failed to report how much he was paid and later said in interviews that he didn’t know if he was paid.
When Trump first met President Obama at the White House, the legitimately-elected president told the one propped by Putin not to hire Flynn. Obama knew Flynn was compromised with Russia. Trump hired Flynn as his National Security Adviser anyway. Later, acting-Attorney General Sally Yates told the White House that Flynn was subject to blackmail from the Russians. Trump fired Yates.
Flynn lasted on the job for 24 days. Trump says he fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia, while also defending his contacts with Russia. He didn’t fire him for lying to Pence. Trump fired Flynn because The Washington Post found out about his lies. Firing Flynn, then asking for investigations to cease looking into Flynn, and firing the director of the FBI, is all part of Trump’s cover-up and obstruction of justice.
Flynn has now struck a plea bargain with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and he has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Defenders of Trump claim this confession doesn’t have anything to do with Trump. They are overlooking why Mueller would agree to a deal with Flynn. The deal is made because Flynn is now cooperating with the Special Counsel’s office. Flynn was directed to talk to Russia by Jared Kushner and has said others on the transition team, headed by Pence, knew about the interactions.
Flynn can’t be explained away by the administration as a coffee boy or someone who didn’t have much of an impact with the campaign. As the expression goes, Flynn was “in like Flynn.” Flynn was by Trump’s side, speaking at rallies, attending strategy meetings and security briefings. Flynn was probably more involved and connected to Trump than anyone else not related to Trump.
Flynn violated the Logan Act, a federal law that imposes fines and/or imprisonment for unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. Flynn told Russia not to retaliate against the United States for enacting sanctions against them, and tried to get the Russians to vote or delay a vote against Israel. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for breaking this law, but we’re in a lot of new territory with the Trump administration. Flynn’s plea will likely keep him out of prison, and send others there instead.
Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, referred to Flynn Friday as a former official of the Obama administration. That’s true, but Obama fired Flynn and told Trump not to hire him, proving that our previous president has a lot better judgement than our current one.
Flynn famously joined the crowd at the Republican National Convention in shouting “lock her up,” and stated, “if I did one tenth as she did,” referring to Hillary Clinton, “I would be in jail.” As Flynn left the courthouse Friday, a small crowd greeted him with “lock him up.” Being that Flynn is a Republican I am not sure he can appreciate the irony.
Trump’s administration is in a contest with those of Reagan and Nixon for which will have the most members indicted, charged, and sent to prison. I have my money on the Trump administration.
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