Since it was announced nine days ago that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was about to begin arresting people in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, we’ve all been waiting to see when Michael Flynn would get arrested. Mueller has long had a Flynn grand jury in Virginia, and most of the charges have also long been known. Now comes word that his arrest – and that of his son – are indeed imminent. Notably, the source appears to be Mueller himself.
Nothing leaks out of Robert Mueller’s tight-lipped investigation unless he wants it to. Yet a source told NBC News today that Mueller does indeed have enough evidence to indict, charge and arrest Michael Flynn (link). It appears the source could only have been Mueller himself, and he’s sending a clear message to Flynn: flip now or get ready for the handcuffs. This matters for a few different reasons.
Mueller has clearly made great progress on the Trump-Russia investigation from another angle. He’s arrested Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and he’s managed to get George Papadopoulos to flip and incriminate several Trump campaign officials. But none of this appears to lead to Michael Flynn. In order to get to Flynn, Mueller has to flip Flynn – or more accurately, target Michael Flynn Jr for his role in the scandal, in order to get Flynn Sr to flip. Mueller is now sending what appears to be his final warning shot to Flynn Sr, telegraphing that the arrest of him and his son is now imminent.
Even as this plays out, Michael Flynn Jr has responded by tweeting dishonest accusations about Robert Mueller. It seems clear that the younger Flynn is angry and has no desire to cooperate. But Michael Flynn Sr can cut a deal to spare his son from prosecution, even if his son refuses to cooperate.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report