Yesterday we saw one of the more surreal high-profile courtroom dramas in America history. Confessed criminal Michael Flynn tried to avoid prison because he gave up evidence that the President of the United States was also a criminal, and the judge was hesitant because Flynn’s own crimes bordered on treason. The end result was that Flynn’s sentencing was delayed by ninety days – and this is about to have an interesting side effect.
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is about to become the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and he’s made clear that he intends to use the position to investigate a number of Donald Trump’s criminal scandals. Schiff will send subpoenas flying. He’ll hold public hearings. He’ll coordinate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on some level to use these hearings to amplify Mueller’s findings as they’re rolled out. Now Schiff is revealing that he has a star witness: Michael Flynn.
After the judge ruled that Michael Flynn needs to come back in ninety days with additional evidence of the fruits of his cooperation deal, Adam Schiff tweeted this: “After the judge acknowledged the seriousness of Flynn’s conduct, he has allowed Trump’s former National Security Advisor to defer sentencing until after he has fully cooperated with the government. It will be important that Flynn also cooperate with our Committee and testify.”
Adam Schiff was already going to be in a position to subpoena Michael Flynn to testify, but that can be fought against, and dragged out in court. Even if Flynn were to show up, he could simply refuse to give particularly useful answers, forcing yet another court battle. But now that a judge has just told Flynn he must keep cooperating, he’ll really have no choice but to be the kind of star witness Schiff wants him to be – in front of live cameras of nationally televised hearings, no less. The Democrats take power in about two weeks.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report