This week Michael Flynn made the surprise move of accusing former FBI agent Peter Strzok of having essentially tricked him into lying. It’s a desperate move by Flynn aimed at ensuring that the judge doesn’t give him any prison time, and various legal experts believe it could work against him. It’s also handed a talking point to Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, who are naturally screwing up the whole thing.
Trump and Rudy are now trying to spin a fictional version of events in which Robert Mueller couldn’t nail Michael Flynn for anything but lying to the FBI, and he recommended a lenient sentence because Strzok screwed that up. Back in the real world, Flynn was facing charges along the lines of espionage, treason, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The man is one of the worst criminals in American history. But because he gave up evidence that will take down Donald Trump, the worst criminal in American history, he was given a free pass.
Once Mueller begins rolling out the evidence that Flynn provided against Trump and others, which should be fairly soon, the argument currently being made by Trump and Rudy will look asinine. Further, Flynn’s sentencing memo reveals that Trump committed felony obstruction of justice by targeting and harassing Strzok because he was the first FBI agent to figure out that the Trump-Russia scandal existed. So the more Trump and Rudy harp on Strzok now, the worse it’ll backfire on them.
Not only are Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani relying on one of the most idiotic defense strategies of all time, they’re doing it with what could be charitably described as fading cognitive abilities. There are a lot of people who don’t know how to spell Peter Strzok’s name. But when your strategy for staying out of prison is based on publicly attacking him, you’d think you’d take a moment to learn the spelling – or perhaps not.
Rudy Giuliani has made six mentions on Twitter this week of someone named “Stroyk” instead of Peter Strzok. Donald Trump seems to be afraid to even try, as he’s now reduced to referring to him as “Peter S.” This would be like making an argument that Donald Trump is a criminal, but repeatedly and accidentally referring to him as “Ronald Turnip.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report