Michael Flynn has been taken into custody today after agreeing to plead guilty to one reduced felony charge of lying to the FBI, just eight days after his legal team signaled that he was preparing to negotiate such a deal. It’s still yet to be decided how much or little prison time Flynn will receive, but the lenient lone charge means he’s given up substantial evidence for proving Donald Trump guilty on serious crimes. Political and legal experts have been quick to weigh in on the groundbreaking news.
Former White House chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter put it succinctly: “Canary bird will sing. The beginning of the end.” Keith Boykin of CNN quoted Michael Flynn’s words about Hillary Clinton from the 2016 Republican National Convention: “Lock her up! Lock her up! If I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.”
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe said this of Flynn: “This means he is indeed cooperating with Mueller as Mueller climbs up the food chain.” Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired in part for trying to investigate crimes related to Donald Trump, added this: “Special Counsel Mueller takes lying and obstruction very seriously. Very.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Beast is confirming that Donald Trump didn’t learn of Michael Flynn’s plea deal until he heard about it on the news this morning along with the rest of us. This means he’s melting down and imploding in real time, as it sinks in that it really is the “beginning of the end” for him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report