There was a movie called Turk 182 about a guy who was trying to expose political corruption. His catch phrase in the film was “Zimmerman Flew, Tyler Knew,” a reminder that very rarely does a top underling indulge in sustained corruption without the top dog knowing about it. Now that Michael Flynn is negotiating a deal to spill his guts, we’re reminded that there’s no way Donald Trump and Mike Pence didn’t know what Flynn was doing with Russia – and all Flynn has to do is to demonstrate as much.
During the transition period, Flynn’s several phone calls to the Russian Ambassador in one day weren’t an aberration. The two men had to have been communicating regularly throughout the campaign. Stop and ask yourself why the top foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign would have been in regular contact with the Russian Ambassador throughout the election. Is this the kind of thing that a top adviser decides to do in his own right, and then decides to keep it hidden from the people he’s working directly under?
At the least, Donald Trump and Mike Pence were aware of what Michael Flynn was doing with Russia, because it would have been too obvious not to have been spotted eventually. At the most, they outright instructed him to remain in contact with Russia. Either way, they knew. In order to honor his plea deal, Flynn will have to spill out every last detail. Somewhere in there, he’ll be able to provide evidence and corroboration that Trump and Pence knew what he was up to.
That alone will be enough to unravel the future political prospects of Donald Trump and Mike Pence both. They knew Michael Flynn was coordinating with the Russian government in his role as a top Trump campaign foreign policy adviser. They ordered it, or encouraged it, or looked the other way. Then they lied about it, repeatedly. They worked to cover it up. That’s obstruction of justice, and maybe a lot more. Flynn flew. Trump and Pence knew. Turk 182.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report