Saturday, December 02, 2017
Michael Flynn and the Unravelling of Donald Trump
Two days after Donald Trump was elected president, Barack Obama warned him not to hire Michael Flynn for any national security job.
But Trump didn't listen to him, he made Flynn his national security adviser.
And of course now he's sorry. Very sorry.
President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December, becoming the first senior White House official to cut a cooperation deal in the special counsel’s wide-ranging inquiry into election interference.
Flynn is squealing.
The fact that Robert Mueller has only charged him with lying to the FBI may be very bad news for Trump.
"[It] suggests a bombshell of a deal with prosecutors,” said Jens Ohlin, vice dean of law at Cornell, in an email. “The best explanation for why Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III would agree to it is that Flynn has something very valuable to offer in exchange: damaging testimony on someone else.”
And one can only imagine Trump's state of mind, or wonder what he might do next.
Especially if the next ones to be indicted are his son Donald Jr, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
It is probably Mr. Kushner who is in greatest jeopardy now. Bloomberg has reported that he is the very senior transition member who directed Mr. Flynn to reach out to Russia. Mr. Kushner has already been questioned by the special counsel and by Congress. If he was one of those officials Mr. Flynn spoke to and he was not honest about it when questioned, he could face similar false statement charges.
And we are all left to wonder what might happen if or when Flynn points the finger at Trump.
ABC News has reported that Mr. Flynn will say Mr. Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.” If that is so, it opens a Pandora’s box of questions for the president. Is that a reference to the calls about the sanctions, or something else? How many times did Mr. Trump do that, when, and about what?
How can we square that with the president’s denials of knowledge about the Flynn contact with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, or any contact with Russia? The possible answers range from bad to worse to fatal for the president.
At a time when Trump's mental stability is being seriously questioned.
We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping. These characteristics place our country and the world at extreme risk of danger.
And he has never been more trapped or more dangerous...
But at least now, the writing is on the wall.
The Trump story is now a criminal one.
Nobody can predict where it is going.
But with a little bit of luck it will have a happy ending...