Michael Flynn is going to prison. Of course we’ve already known that since last December, when he first cut a cooperating plea deal, and pleaded guilty to the kind of thing that you go to prison for. But as of yesterday it’s basically a done deal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally decided that he no longer needs any help from Flynn, and he’s told a judge to go ahead and lock him up. That’s remarkable, considering that Flynn was the “Lock her up” guy. But there’s more to this.
Yes, it’s rather appropriate that after Michael Flynn spent the election demanding that Hillary Clinton be sent to prison for imaginary crimes that never existed, Flynn is the one who is now going to prison – for crimes he committed while participating in a conspiracy to rig the election against her. But let’s not forget what the (apparently amicable) conclusion of a cooperation agreement means: Mueller is signaling that he doesn’t need Flynn anymore.
This apparently means that Michael Flynn has already testified in the grand jury proceedings that Mueller needed him for. Really? Already? It wasn’t surprising when Mueller recently cut George Papadopoulos loose, because he was a small fish who was probably only able to provide testimony against the medium sized Trump-Russia fish he consorted with. But Flynn attended a Trump-Russia meeting with Jared Kushner. He somehow got Mike Pence to lie for him. And yes, Flynn had regular close contact with Donald Trump.
If Robert Mueller is already well into grand jury proceedings against all of those guys, then it would mean he’s way ahead of where we all thought he was. Then again, Mueller does have a habit of periodically reminding us that he’s been ahead of the rest of us all along. Mueller will make a filing before Michael Flynn’s sentencing hearing, and it’ll tell us a lot about how Flynn has been cooperating. Look for Mueller to use that document to light a fire under some big fish as Donald Trump’s house of cards collapses.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report