Michael Flynn has been so valuable as a cooperating witness, Special Counsel Robert Mueller ended up recommending essentially no prison time for Flynn, despite his serious crimes against the United States. This has long made clear that Flynn gave up the biggest of fish in the Trump-Russia scandal. We just don’t know any of the details of that, because Mueller is still blacking all of it out in Flynn’s court filings. But one key detail just slipped through.
Michael Flynn’s former business partner Bijan Kian is set to go on trial, and Flynn is a key witness against him. Kian’s defense strategy will naturally consist of trying to discredit Flynn, and to that end, he’s asking prosecutors for the details of Flynn’s various crimes. Prosecutors are fighting against this for the same reason they’ve been redacting everything in their publicly available filings; they don’t want to risk tainting the cases that Flynn has helped them build against the biggest fish.
But as an eagle eyed Rachel Maddow spotted last night, Bijan Kian’s legal filings in this back-and-forth have revealed a transition period meeting that took place between Michael Flynn and the same Russian who also met with Erik Prince during the transition. Why is this a big deal? For starters, assuming this meeting really happened and Kian isn’t simply making it up for some reason, this is new information that the media never did manage to dredge up.
More importantly, Michael Flynn has already long ago told Robert Mueller everything about everything. Flynn would have given up this meeting to Mueller in December of 2017. That means Mueller has had a year and a half to take Flynn’s testimony, dig into it all, and investigate everyone else who was connected to this Kremlin representative.
Most importantly of all, this is the Russian who met with Erik Prince about allegedly setting up a backchannel between the White House and the Kremlin. So this guy was more important than Sergey Lavrov, Natalia Veselnitskaya, or any of the other Russians who surreptitiously met with Team Trump. This guy is the ballgame – and now we know that thanks to Flynn, Mueller has apparently had the inside track on him all along.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report