When Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave an extraordinarily lenient plea deal to Michael Flynn in late 2017, we were all left asking the same question: just how much did Flynn give up in order to get that deal? The most logical explanation was that Flynn told Mueller all about Donald Trump’s crimes. But for a year and a half, we’ve been in the dark, because Flynn’s cooperation has remained under seal. That just changed in a big way.
Newly released court filings this afternoon reveal that before and after Michael Flynn cut a plea deal, various Donald Trump surrogates reached out to Flynn in the hope of interfering in the investigation, according to NBC News. This represents witness tampering and/or obstruction of justice, both of which are felonies. NBC says that this tampering was done by people in the Trump White House and unnamed people in Congress, which opens a whole new can of worms. Flynn told Mueller all about these efforts while they were going on. It gets even uglier.
These court filings reveal that one of Trump’s criminal defense attorneys left Michael Flynn a voicemail asking him not to cooperate with Mueller, and that Flynn turned the voicemail over to Mueller. Trump’s personal attorney would never have taken such an action unless it was under Trump’s instruction. This attorney is clearly going to have to cut a plea deal against Trump in order to avoid prison.
This voicemail alone is going to be the centerpiece of the inevitable impeachment case against Donald Trump. It now also seems likely that Michael Flynn will be brought in to publicly testify before Congress, along with the upcoming testimony from Robert Mueller, Don McGahn, and others. The other huge story here is which (presumably Republican) members of Congress helped Trump try to convince Flynn not to cooperate. Whoever they are, they’re facing criminal scandals.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report