Does Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea and Testimony Really Make Any Difference?
Earlier today former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to FBI agents. After that plea was entered Flynn announced a) that he was cooperating with Mueller and b) that he would testify that members of Trump’s transition team were aware of the outreach, and c) that Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians.
As far as I can tell, the only known point we have at this stage is Flynn’s indictment.
If you visit the document, you’ll see both instances happened while Trump was president-elect. The charges, to be charitable are chicken-sh** and only serve to reinforce what every sane person should know: DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE. PERIOD. As they were during the transition period they aren’t related “collusion” and Flynn seems to be throwing other people under the bus to save his son from indictment.
The claim about Trump may or may not mean anything. We have no information on when this conversation in which Flynn was directed to reach out to the Russians took place and the way ABC and other outlets keeps saying “candidate Donald Trump” without attaching a date to it leads me to believe they don’t know when it is alleged to have happened either. (But they are trying to frame it as having happened before the election.) Taken in totality with his guilty plea and his statement about “transition officials,” the direction Flynn received was probably some time after November 8. If so, then this is very thin stuff. As president-elect Trump certainly had the authority to initiate contact with Russia and it has been pretty well documented that that happened. But, again, we just don’t know.
If the direction took place before the election then we still don’t know if it is significant. If Flynn was sent off to the Russians to tell them to hack Hillary’s email and send Facebook spam to 50 million white nationalists to motivate them to vote for Trump then it is significant. If Trump told Flynn to open a communications channel to the Russians he’d be doing what basically every candidate does.
Based on what we know right now, this isn’t much. Some outlets are claiming that this disclosure is only a fraction of what Flynn has agreed to cooperate about. That could be true because I was sort of surprised that none of his dealings with the Turks had reached the level of financial crimes.
I guess we’ll just wait and see.