ABC’s Brian Ross reports: Michael Flynn promised “full cooperation to the Mueller team” and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump “directed him to make contact with the Russians.”
Omagosh! What does this mean? Well, nothing really. Contacting foreign governments was part of Flynn’s job, and directing Flynn to contact foreign governments was part of Trump’s job.
Apparently Flynn lied to the FBI about some inconsequential matters. Why would he lie about things that don’t matter? Who knows. It’s also a mystery why he even talked to the FBI. He didn’t have to, and he should have realized they were setting him up for a “process” crime. If that’s all Mueller has, then he has nothing. A process crime is making a false statement about anything in the “process” of being interviewed by the FBI. A process crime doesn’t go to the heart of the alleged scheme about which the FBI is trying to obtain evidence.
A process crime doesn’t get to the real alleged crime they’re trying to find. The scheme Mueller is trying to find is Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 election. Flynn lying about things that don’t pertain to Russian collusion doesn’t advance the ball for Mueller. His pursuit of Flynn for a process crime means he doesn’t have anything else. If he did, he’s be holding Flynn hostage to an even greater charge than the process crime. He would wait to pursue the process crime along with the espionage crime. If Flynn had any evidence of Trump collusion with Russia Mueller would not be pursuing him on the process crime. He’d be offering Flynn a deal in exchange for this cooperation in proving the alleged scheme. He can’t do that because Flynn doesn’t have any evidence of collusion with Russia because there was no collusion with Russia.
This is like the Martha Stewart case. Special Prosecutor Fitzpatrick went after Martha Stewart for insider trading. After more than a year and having not enough evidence to proceed on the scheme of insider trading Fitzpatrick indicted Stewart for making false statements in the “process” of talking to the FBI. That’s why defense lawyers advise their clients not to talk to the FBI. They’re experts in getting you to make a statement that can later be characterized as false, and bang you’re in federal felony territory even though the charge is dropped on the original crime they were investigating, for lack of evidence. Same thing happened to Scooter Libby. You’d think Flynn would have know better.
The media will go nuts with this Flynn thing, but in the end it will be sound and fury signifying nothing for anyone except Michael Flynn. He could have avoided this trouble in his life by not talking to them. I bet he wishes he had exercised his right to remain silent.
Flynn is in tough spot. If he lies about Trump he’ll never get a pardon. Will he lie? Flynn was Trump’s National Security Advisor for 25 days, then Trump fired him for lying to the FBI. So lying is in his repertoire.