Something About the Michael Flynn Case Still Doesn’t Make Sense
This week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed what’s known as a sentencing report to the court in relation to retired three-star Army General Michael Flynn. Flynn’s crime is that he supposedly lied to FBI investigators when they interviewed him about discussions he’d had during the Trump transition with the Russian ambassador. The story goes that Flynn denied discussing the lifting of Russian sanctions with Sergei Kislyak; however, since Kislyak was under surveillance at the time, the U.S. intelligence community knew this was a lie.
The only problem? FBI officials, including former Director James Comey and his second-in-command, Andrew McCabe, are already on record saying that the agents questioning Flynn did not think he was lying at the time. That either means he admitted to having discussed sanctions with the agents or that the agents did not have reason to believe at that time that he actually did.
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, Comey said that the agents “did not detect any deception” in their conversation with Flynn, and they “saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”
Comey’s wording leaves open a third possibility, which is that Flynn discussed sanctions, said he didn’t, but had genuinely forgotten that the subject had come up. That theory not only exonerates Flynn of any crime of lying to investigators but indicates that, for whatever discussions he had with Kislyak about the sanctions, they weren’t very important and they didn’t last very long.
In his sentencing, Mueller downplays the need for a lengthy sentence (which was unlikely to begin with, given the sentences handed down to others pinched by Mueller for lying to investigators), but he does not mention the conflicting disagreements about how honest Flynn originally was with investigators. Perhaps it is a moot point now, seeing as how Flynn has pleaded guilty to the crime.
Nevertheless, it leaves open the significant question of why Flynn chose to cooperate so extensively with the Mueller investigation. Was he sore about President Trump firing him so soon after being named the national security advisor? Was he afraid of how far Mueller might go digging into his work with Turkey? Or was he concerned about a persistent threat coming from the special counsel – namely, that he would pursue charges against his son, Michael Flynn, Jr.?
Regardless of those answers, there is nothing in the public record to indicate that Flynn gave Mueller anything of value as it pertains to the central investigation: The Trump/Russia collusion case. Which is yet one more reason to believe that at the end of all this – with so many lives ruined and so many millions of taxpayer dollars spent – it will be revealed that this was, indeed, just a witch hunt all along.