Former Donald Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has just seen his legal troubles compounded. In addition to the secret payments he illegally failed to report from the governments of Turkey and Russia, and his secret coordination with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Trump campaign, Flynn has now been busted for something that sounds like it comes straight out of an airport gift shop spy novel.
Democratic leaders in Congress have discovered that months before Michael Flynn became a Donald Trump campaign adviser, he traveled to Saudi Arabia for what he pretended was a speech, according to ABC News (link). But that speech never existed, according to his own speaking company. Flynn also claimed he stayed in the King Khaled International Hotel, which appears to be a fake hotel that he simply made up. So what was he really doing there?
It turns out Flynn was negotiating a nuclear deal between Saudi Arabia and – you guessed it – the Russians. That deal ended up being worth $100 billion in total. It’s not immediately clear whether or not Flynn broke the law by brokering that deal. But he did break the law by lying about the nature of his trip on his disclosure forms. And by going to so far as to list a fake speech and a fake hotel as cover, he can’t claim he simply misremembered the trip; this is evidence of consciousness of guilt.
Michael Flynn is already on the hook for a number of alleged felonies, and he recently invoked the Fifth Amendment to try to buy himself time as Congress continues to dig into his antics. But with Special Counsel Robert Mueller having recently taken over the FBI’s ongoing criminal investigation into Flynn, it’s a given that Mueller will now be looking into this matter, if it wasn’t already on his radar. If Donald Trump and Mike Pence knew Flynn was lying about his Saudi trip when they hired him, they’re on the hook as well.
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