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Thomas Gallatin / Dec. 1, 2017

Flynn's Plea — Much Ado About Nothing?

Trump's former national security advisor pleads guilty to lying to the FBI, but what does that mean?

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Michael Flynn, former national security advisor for Donald Trump, with lying to the FBI. The charge states that Flynn “willfully and knowingly” made “false, fictitious and fraudulent” statements to the agency while it was investigating Russian election meddling. David French of National Review points out that “the sharp-eyed reader will note that Flynn is being charged with lying to the FBI about activity that isn’t criminal.” Flynn has pleaded guilty to the charge and has now promised full cooperation with Mueller’s investigation.

What does this mean? The mainstream media outlets are speculating that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to “make contact with the Russians.” While the Democrats and their Leftmedia mouthpieces are wildly playing this up to be the smoking gun of Russian collusion they have long been clamoring about, it’s not even remotely that. The devil is in the details — or in this case the timing — if in fact Trump directed Flynn after the election and during the transition to contact the Russians. Thus, this has nothing to do with the fake collusion charges. Moreover, there was nothing illegal about Flynn’s contact with the Russians.

Responding to the news of Flynn’s plea, the White House issued the following statement:

Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days during the Trump Administration, and a former Obama administration official, entered a guilty plea to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI.

The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year. Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.

So, why has Flynn been the target of both the FBI and then the Mueller investigation? Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes the answer to be threefold, hinging upon Barack Obama’s desire to handicap Trump’s ability to reverse his policies both foreign and domestic. McCarthy writes that Obama aimed to “(1) to punish Flynn, and derivatively the incoming Trump administration, for opposing Obama’s anti-Israel legerdemain in the Security Council; (2) to promote the political narrative that Russia–Trump collusion had cheated Clinton out of her rightful election victory; and (3) to tie this collusion narrative to sanctions relief, thereby making it politically impossible for Trump to roll back Obama’s sanctions once he was sworn in — a boon for the Democrats’ collusion narrative since the sanctions stand as a reminder of Russia’s election meddling.”

This latest news is reminiscent of the special counsel railroading of Scooter Libby. And this is once again a reminder that Mueller’s investigation is free to go almost anywhere. For Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media, the endgame is the removal of Trump, because his election victory amounted to a massive refutation by the American people of Obama and his leftist policy agenda. Refusing to stand by and allow Trump to reverse their political achievements, Democrats have essentially opted for a resistance plan that seeks what McCarthy calls the “criminalization of politics.” Hence the call by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on Sunday for pursuing a case against Trump for obstruction of justice.

(Updated.)

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