Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is pleading guilty in court today to a single felony charge of lying to the FBI, as part of a deal that’s been made official with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The sheer leniency of the deal, after Flynn was facing charges that could have sent him to prison for life, means that he’s given up everything – and some bigger fish including Donald Trump are now completely screwed.
Several major news outlets are confirming the Flynn deal at the moment, including CNN (link, but I’ll tell you what they won’t: this means it’s over for Trump. Not today and not tomorrow. A trap door won’t magically open up under his desk and swallow him whole, mind you, just because Flynn sold him out. There is still a complicated legal and political process involved in ousting a sitting president. But now we know that Mueller has all the evidence he needs to make it happen.
It’s not just that Flynn has cut a deal. It’s that Flynn is pleading guilty to such a minimal charge. Yes, he can still go to prison for years for lying to the FBI. But this is the same deal that George Papadopoulos got, and in criminal terms, he didn’t do much more than lying to the FBI. On the other hand Flynn was facing potential charges on everything from conspiracy against the United States, to failure to register as a foreign agent, to conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
A hardass like Robert Mueller doesn’t let charges like that slide for nothing. This means, in no uncertain terms, that Michael Flynn gave up enough evidence to utterly destroy Donald Trump. He probably gave up evidence to destroy the likes of Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner as well. Get your popcorn ready, because everything changes now. Mueller now has what he came for.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report