As we impatiently wait for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to file his sentencing memos for Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, the latter of which which will document what Manafort was so desperate to keep secret that he lied about it to Mueller’s investigators, we continue to examine the highly redacted court documents concerning Michael Flynn that were filed on Tuesday.
While many expected the Flynn memo to disclose much more damning information on Donald Trump, it would be incorrect to label the document as anything other than a bombshell. Yes, there are some pages almost entirely blacked out, but Mueller and his team chose every word extremely carefully to paint a picture that should have Trump – and everyone on his campaign and transition team – shaking in fear.
Max Bergman, the cofounder and director of the Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund dedicated to analyzing the facts behind Trump’s collusion with Russia), recently tweeted an analysis utilizing information from both the Flynn memo and Bob Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House. According to Bergman’s interpretation of the available information, Mike Pence, former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and former White House Counsel Don McGahn were well aware of Trump-Russia treason as early as February 2017. With Pence heading Trump’s transition team in late 2016, it is near impossible that he was not aware of the conspiracy against the United States much earlier, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when Priebus and McGahn first learned of it.
According to Woodward’s book, “McGahn and Priebus were joined by Vice President Pence in the Situation Room to review the transcripts [of Flynn’s three conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak].” The Flynn memo spells out some of his coordination with Mueller’s team that they determined to be accurate and extremely helpful in their investigation, including “the FBI’s investigation into the nature of any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”
“What Mueller says here is that Flynn lying about the contents of the call – what he conveyed and how Russia responded – was relevant to the investigation into the CAMPAIGN’s links to Russia,” Bergman spells out. “Not the transition’s but the campaign’s.” While treason-apologists on Fox News continue to say Flynn’s actions were harmless and this was just a small violation of the Logan Act, it appears that Mueller is confirming that “underlying conduct” exposed important information about actions between Russia and the Trump campaign. While today is looking to be a very bad day for Trump – and all those in his campaign – let us not overlook how bad Tuesday really was for him as well.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.