Almost exactly a year ago, Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn cut a cooperating plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Since that time, best we can tell, we’ve seen precisely nothing surface publicly as a result of that deal. We still don’t know who or what Flynn gave up, or what Mueller has done with it behind the scenes. But now we appear to be just days or hours from finding out.
Tomorrow, Robert Mueller will file his prison sentencing memo for Michael Flynn. Because Flynn’s deal remained intact for a year, and because Mueller didn’t make any negative public statements about Flynn’s cooperation when he recently filed for Flynn to be sentenced, there is every reason to believe that Flynn has been fully cooperating the entire time. So don’t be shocked if Mueller recommends a lenient sentence for Flynn. In fact, the more lenient, the better, because that’ll mean Flynn was particularly helpful. But here’s the thing.
Mueller has the choice of whether or not to make any given sentencing memo public. However, he just revealed through his spokesman that he’s definitely making most or all of Friday’s Paul Manafort sentencing memo public. While not explicitly stated, it follows that if Mueller is at a point where he’s ready to start exposing Trump-Russia crimes in public court documents, then he’s ready to do this in the Michael Flynn filing (Update, 9:10pm: NBC News now confirms the Flynn filing will be public).
One thing to keep in mind here. Robert Mueller has to file the Michael Flynn sentencing memo with the judge by tomorrow, but Flynn’s actual sentencing hearing isn’t until December 18th. So even if Mueller doesn’t make Flynn’s Trump-related crimes public tomorrow, he could ask the judge to make the sentencing memo public at any time before the 18th. In essence, Mueller now controls the news cycle going forward, as he prepares his still-secret endgame takedown move against Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report