First he publicly asked for immunity at a time when he should have known he wouldn’t get it. Then he publicly invoked the Fifth Amendment at a time when he should have known it would only cause him further legal jeopardy. For months, Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has very publicly made one self-defeating move after another that’s only served to help those trying to take Trump down. Unless, of course, that’s been the point all along.
I’m hearing the same buzz you are this week about Michael Flynn having already cut a deal with the Feds, and I can’t confirm it myself. But it’s gotten me thinking about how that kind of development might mesh with what we’re seeing playing out in public. Flynn is acting defiant, refusing to cooperate on even the most basic level, in a manner which is seemingly marching him straight toward a jail cell. Maybe he’s just that loyal to Trump, or to Russia, or he’s so resentful of his fate that he’s willing to go down in flames out of pure spite. Or maybe that’s just how he’s being told to act.
Let’s say that Flynn already did cut a deal with the Feds months ago, agreeing to flip on Trump in order to save himself. The next logical step for the Feds would be to try to get other players like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone to flip as well. Sure enough, hours after Flynn announced yesterday that he was pleading the fifth and was refusing to turn over Trump-Russia documents, Manafort and Stone promptly turned over documents instead.
If this was all a ploy by the Feds and Flynn’s lawyer to try to trick Stone and Manafort into thinking that they could curry leniency favor by turning over the documents that Flynn had just very loudly refused to, then it sure did work. I’m not saying Flynn has cut a deal; I don’t know. I’m just saying that if he has, and this is all theater to try to rope in the others, it seems to have worked.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report