Mike Flynn Sentencing Drama Confirms Our Worst Fears About The FBI Investigations
By Preetam Kaushik
This was not the way it was supposed to play out in court. For anybody who supports Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his so-called investigation into the Russia allegations, the recent developments in the Mike Flynn case come as a rude shock.
But for the rest of us less gullible folk, it just lays bare what we have suspected all along: the whole thing is tainted. The FBI is playing a dirty game to implicate President Trump and his team in a cooked up case of collusion.
And Mike Flynn was just one of the many pawns in this game. Robert Mueller’s mistake was in assuming that he would go down tamely. But the recent accusations from Flynn’s defense team show that the old soldier still has some fight left in him.
Michael Flynn – A Soldier Wronged By The Government (Twice)
The entire Russia investigation is a travesty of justice. The worst story out of it all probably is the shameless way in which the FBI seems to have entrapped a retired Three-Star General, tarnishing his good name and honor in the process.
Mike Flynn is a man who has been wronged by the Government several times over. In 2013, the decorated Lt. General and hugely admired intelligence expert was forced into early retirement by Washington bureaucracy backroom politics.
An early supporter and advisor of Trump during his presidential campaign, things seemed to have turned around for the better for Flynn after November 2016. His loyalty and support were rewarded with the post of National Security Advisor.
But all that proved extremely short-lived as Flynn was forced to resign after just 24 days in charge, the shortest tenure in history for a National Security Advisor. His crime: misleading the Vice President about facts regarding his connections to the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Though he owned up to his mistakes and resigned, Flynn’s troubles were only beginning. He was one amongst the many Trump loyalists who Robert Mueller and his team had in their crosshairs.
The Ex-General Who Became A Soft Target For Mueller
As a key part of the Trump campaign inner circle and the transition team, Flynn obviously has considerable knowledge about Trump and his associates. This would include sensitive data that the FBI and Democrats could potentially manipulate to attack the President and bring him down. That made Flynn a very valuable target indeed for FBI, and later Mueller and co.
And the FBI had an ace in the hole which they could use against Flynn. In an interview with a pair of FBI agents on January 24, a few days after he took the White House job, Flynn had apparently made misleading statements.
Lying to a Federal Agent is a criminal offense, and now Mueller had a way to break Flynn and use him against target number one: Donald Trump. In many ways, Flynn was the perfect fall guy for a hardened and ruthless prosecutor like Mueller.
Being a career soldier, Flynn did not have millions in his bank. His firm, Flynn Intelligence Group, was a belated attempt to create his fortune. But that only made him an easier target for Mueller, as the job involves contacts with foreign governments, agents, and businesses.
So when squeezed by the Mueller team, Flynn quickly caved in and pleaded guilty to one count of lying to a Federal agent. That is the only case the government has against Flynn, but in his case, that was enough to get him to cooperate with Mueller.
Whatever else he may be, Flynn has proved himself to be a man of his word. After pleading guilty and accepting the deal with Mueller, he seems to have cooperated fully with the investigation.
So much so that even Mueller strongly advised the court not to give Flynn any jail-time. Now we come to the interesting twist in this sordid tale.
The Tame Case That Came Up With A Sting In Its Tail (For The FBI)
The whole Flynn case was supposed to be a shoo-in really, unlike those of Manafort and others. He had pleaded guilty and had cooperated fully with the prosecutors. All that was left was for the judge to give him a soft sentence and set him free.
In this context, what the Flynn legal team did at the last moment before sentencing might seem crazy: they turned hostile to the prosecution and raised questions regarding the conduct of FBI in setting up that fateful January 2017 meeting with Flynn.
When US District Judge Emmet Sullivan asked the FBI and Mueller to submit all documents related to the meeting, Mueller responded in typical duplicitous fashion by submitting incomplete and heavily redacted records and omitting the crucial January 302 altogether.
This alone should be enough to raise the clouds of suspicion around the whole affair. Ultimately, Mueller was forced by the Judge to submit the January 302 as well, albeit in a heavily redacted form as usual.
Is There Reason To Suspect The FBI Of Foul Play?
The January 302 revelations are more than enough to suggest outright wrongdoing and overreach on part of the FBI. Here are some highlights to consider, some of which we already knew about:
- The whole meeting was setup up by Andrew McCabe, the FBI Deputy Director who was later fired by Trump for professional misconduct.
- McCabe explicitly asked Flynn not have his lawyer along for the meeting (that would have nipped any attempt at entrapment in the bud)
- One of the agents who carried out the interview was Peter Strozk, infamous for his anti-Trump texts. He too was eventually fired for professional misconduct.
- The FBI notes show that Flynn was completely relaxed and cooperative throughout the interview. He had done nothing wrong, and talking to the Russian Ambassador was just part of his job.
- The FBI had inside information regarding Russian intervention in the elections and they went into the meeting with Flynn armed with this information.
We are not saying that Flynn is completely innocent. At worst, he made some mistakes and errors of judgment, coupled with obvious ignorance about the consequences of his actions. He has paid the price for those mistakes already, losing the job in ignominious fashion.
But by actively putting him in a compromising situation in that January 2017 meeting, the FBI showed its dishonest strongarm tactics. It was a case of entrapment, pure and simple.
Wait, Why Did Flynn Make This Play Now?
Thanks to his cooperation with Mueller, there was never any serious threat of Flynn facing time in jail at any time during this trial. But think about this whole situation from his perspective for once:
After all, he was played by the FBI, and coerced into becoming a rat. And the guilty plea has tarnished his reputation and honor, even if it is only on one count and for a relatively less serious offense.
Flynn could achieve several things with this play right now:
- He gets to put one over the FBI for their shameless entrapment tactics.
- He has a chance to redeem his tarnished image.
- And this also opens the possibility for a Presidential pardon in future.
What may have strengthened his resolve to do this now could be Judge Sullivan himself. He has a history of taking a tough stance against instances of government overreach and misconduct. He threw out a case against Senator Ted Stevens in 2009 because of the same reasons. There is no reason think that the same could not happen in Flynn’s case as well.
Should The Judge Throw Out This Case As Well?
In the light of these developments, the FBI does not deserve to win this case. There is every reason to think that the Judge should seriously reconsider Flynn’s guilty plea and throw out this case altogether, just like 2009. A fine soldier and patriot deserve no less from this country.
The FBI and Mueller should be held accountable for their actions. They should be forced to reveal the dirty truth they are hiding behind all those redacted lines in the documents submitted to the court. This travesty of justice has gone on for far too long.