We all saw what happened when Paul Manafort testified before Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal in a manner which led Special Counsel Robert Mueller to raid his house the next morning before dawn. Manafort’s testimony was unsatisfactory in general, or he got caught lying, or he unwittingly gave away that he was stashing evidence. Guess what now? Knock knock, Michael Flynn.
That’s the only logical next step now that Flynn has once again outright refused a request to testify before Congress about his own role in the Trump-Russia scandal (link). We’ve seen Flynn refuse to testify before, but this time has an “…and this time I mean it” feel to it. This is Congress giving him one last chance to show up and cooperate, before moving on to the next step. And this is Flynn once again hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, which he is legally allowed to do – but it doesn’t prevent the investigation from moving forward against him forcibly.
Moreover, it may happen quickly. Mueller needed a judge to sign off on a warrant in order to go busting into Paul Manafort’s home. Considering that the raid took place just hours after Manafort’s ill-fated testimony before Congress, it’s clear that Mueller was either able to get the warrant very quickly, or he already had it before Manafort’s testimony just in case. This tells us that based on Flynn’s refusal to cooperate, Mueller can likely either get a warrant almost immediately, or perhaps he already has one ready to go. There is, however, the matter of how the Fifth Amendment plays into this.
Legal experts have told Palmer Report that while the Fifth Amendment clearly protects you from having to testify against yourself, it’s up to the court system to decide whether the Fifth Amendment protects you from having to turn over any given documents or evidence. So it’s not a given that Mueller can get a warrant for everything in Flynn’s house. But if Flynn is sitting on even one piece of evidence that a judge says can be seized, he’s probably looking at having his home raided by the FBI quite soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report