Michael Flynn’s tenure as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser was extremely brief, but it could still prove crucial to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations into the Trump team’s ties to Russia.
As one former U.S. attorney noted, the “clearly indictable” Flynn could break open the case for collusion and obstruction of justice with what he knows about his former boss.
It was never made clear by the administration whether Flynn had resigned or been fired. What was evident, though, was that Flynn was severely compromised, the White House knew about it, and protected him anyway.
Flynn lied about his communications regarding sanctions with Russian agents, of which the White House freely admitted knowledge. And as former FBI Director James Comey delved deeper into his investigation of Flynn’s activities, Trump put the pressure on.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said, according to Comey’s meticulous timeline of the events. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
As Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, “I took it as a direction to get rid of this investigation.”
One of the many lingering questions is why Trump was so insistent that Comey back off of Flynn. It’s hard to believe Trump would behave in such a way solely for the benefit of someone else; rather, this kind of abuse of power from Trump strongly implies that there was something paramount in it for himself, too.
Former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey made just that point on MSNBC.
Noting that the next step for Mueller could very likely be Flynn — someone who is “clearly, frankly, bluntly indictable” and “strategically placed” to know a lot about Trump and Russia — Coffey highlighted Trump’s pressure campaign on Comey.
“The question of, what was Trump’s motive in trying to allegedly tell Comey, ‘Please go easy on the guy’ — was Trump trying to protect a good guy and a public servant? Or was Trump trying to protect something about himself?”
“That’s a question that Michael Flynn should be able to answer,” Coffey noted.
After his campaign coworkers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted by Mueller, and campaign official George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for lying to federal agents, Flynn’s name has been in the air as one of the nexton Mueller’s list.
Comey was not cowed by Trump’s pressure, which led to his firing.
And as California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu put it plainly, if Trump tried to fire Mueller just as he did Comey, “Congress would begin impeachment proceedings.”
Flynn surely knows a good deal about the dark truth hiding behind all the lies from this administration. And it is Mueller’s job to unearth it and give the American people the facts about what was done to our democracy — and exactly who was behind it all.