According to brand new reporting, Donald Trump’s newly installed National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn is currently being investigated for his potentially illegal collaboration with Russia by at least three different federal agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA. You read that last part correctly. It now appears that, while they’re not the same thing the National Security Agency is the bizarre situation of investigating the National Security Advisor.
The news came from the Wall Street Journal tonight, naming Michael Flynn as the fourth top Donald Trump campaign advisor being investigated for illicit ties to Russia, after Paul Manafort and Carter Page and Roger Stone were all named earlier in the week. But all three of them officially exited the campaign at various points, and none of them ended up taking official jobs in Trump’s White House. In contrast, Flynn just took a key role in the Trump administration.
It’s worth pointing out that National Security Advisor is a position which does not require Senate confirmation, raising questions as to whether Trump chose Flynn for the NSA role in order to avoid confirmation hearings. Flynn is a retired Lieutenant General and could also have been suited for Senate-confirmable positions such as Secretary of Defense. But the larger issue may be what this means for a federal government that is now essentially investigating itself.
In his role as president, Donald Trump can shut down at least portions of the FBI and CIA investigations into himself and his own advisors. It appears these agencies are leaking the existence of these investigations now so that if Trump does try to shut them down, he’ll face public backlash.
The Trump-Russia scandal and investigation are already taking on the internal complexity of Richard Nixon’s White House during the latter days of the Watergate scandal — and this is only the third day of the Donald Trump administration.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report