A gigantic piece of the riddle of Russiagate has finally fallen into place. This one blows Paul Manafort out of the water.
On Friday, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. And he pledged to cooperate with the investigation into the hacking of our 2016 Presidential election by the Russians.
It’s a sad day in America when a three-star general colludes with the Russians to subvert the democratic sanctity of our election. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Michael Flynn will go down in history as one of the most sickening and pathetic traitors of all time. Benedict Arnold. Vidkun Quisling. Michael Flynn.
Flynn served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser but resigned from his position 24 days later. The Information that surfaced about him having plotted out a possible attempt to kidnap a Turkish cleric in Pennsylvania had made him a person of interest to the FBI. Trump reluctantly gave him the boot.
Shortly after, proof that he had lied to the FBI surfaced after pre-Inauguration phone conversations he’d had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak leaked to the press.
By pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller, Flynn also appears to have averted prosecution of his son, who was reportedly implicated in some of these ongoings. What a bad father, to get his own son involved in all this mess. Good thing for him he can just snitch his way right out of it all.
Back in June, less than a month after President Donald Trump fired then- FBI director James Comey, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing in which Comey was asked for his version of the events that had led up to his firing. The testimony was frankly disturbing.
His suspicions were strong that he’d been fired due to a bizarre series of conversations he’d had at the time with Donald Trump, who had asked Comey outright to drop his investigation into Flynn. This unnerved Comey so much that he wrote an agent memorandum regarding it immediately afterwards. Such memorandums have been considered reliable courtroom evidence for nearly a hundred years.
The meeting in question took place on February 14th, in the Oval Office. with a group of Trump administration senior officials, including Vice-President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump asked Comey to remain when the others left. He wanted to talk about the F.B.I.’s investigation of Flynn.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said. “He is a good guy.”
Comey confronted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he did not want to be left alone again with the president, according to current and former law enforcement officials. Sessions, unsurprisingly, refused to make any guarantees. That guy is completely worthless as an Attorney General. It’s almost a joke. Too bad it isn’t funny.
Comey distrusted Trump deeply. His unwillingness to be alone with him reflects upon that strongly.
The big question is, why Flynn? We don’t have the answer yet, at least not completely. One thing is certain, though: Trump’s aggressive steps to defend him defy reasonable explanation. Trump is not generally known for his magnanimous impulses toward his former employees. Narcissists love firing people. The question of why he wanted the F.B.I. to ease up on Flynn, therefore, became a matter of intense debate immediately.
Flynn’s decision to flip completely undercuts the argument made by Trump and his aides that they were not fully aware of any discussions Michael Flynn had with the Russians. This is going to have Trump’s legal team hopping through the holidays, especially if no one can convince him to keep his mouth shut on Twitter.
Court documents revealed by the plea agreement Flynn agreed to expose new details about exactly what the Trump team knew.
Through the looking glass, a picture starts emerging.
Israel’s government, parts of the pro-Israel community and congressional Republicans were infuriated in late December when the Obama administration, in its final month, allowed through an anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution.
Someone in the Trump transition team – almost certainly Jared Kushner- probably asked Flynn to speak to the Russians to see whether there was any chance they might be persuaded to use their influence in the UN Security Council to get the vote on Security Council Resolution 2334, the December 2016 anti-settlements resolution, either delayed until after Trump took office or blocked altogether.
At any rate, this Russian query was to set into motion the now famous series of telephone conversations between Flynn and Kislyak. Over the course of one of these, Flynn also asked Kislyak for Russian restraint in response to Obama’s December 2016 sanctions against Russia. Sanctions are what a lot of this is about, for Russia. They want back their jet-set lifestyles. Being on America’s bad side makes this impossible.
It all led up to Special Counsel Mueller’s team looking into Kushner’s contacts with Israeli diplomats, which is being done this very minute. Presumably, they’re in the process of confirming that this was indeed one of the Russian quid pro quos. If you help us out in Israel, we’ll help you out with these sanctions, and we’ll all work together on hamstringing Hillary Clinton.
Flynn arrived at court on Friday. He admitted to one count of knowingly making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements.” According to an AFP reporter, Flynn was asked by Judge Rudolph Contreras if he wished to plead guilty and responded with the words “Yes, sir”. The judge continued: “I accept your guilty plea. There will be no trial and there will be probably no appeal.” And that was that.
Unfortunately, the arrest of Michael Flynn does not tell us much more about what this means for Donald Trump and the White House. There is no way to predict how soon information obtained from Flynn might reach the public or help to produce fresh charges. Mueller’s investigation has been highly disciplined about leaks. But the very fact of Mueller nabbing Flynn now is enough to ruin Trump’s Christmas.
At the end of the day, what’s bad for Trump is what’s good for the rest of us. What this does do for us is to take us a bit closer to being able to prove what we know, and a bit closer to knowing what we think. One is reminded of Trump’s diatribe recently about how we’re all going to start saying Merry Christmas again. Getting this whole mess cleaned up, so we can all get our lives back, would make for the whole world a very merry Christmas indeed.
I know what I’m grateful for this year.