On a day when the Trump-Russia scandal is already exploding with word of grand juries and subpoenas in relation to Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russia, a whole different avenue in the scandal is also suddenly coming full circle. Michael Flynn is now admitting he worked for a data analytics run by Steve Bannon and funded by major Trump donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, which is suspected of having conspired with the Russian government to rig the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
Amid his ongoing troubles with the Foreign Agent Registration Act in relation to secret payouts he took from intermediaries for the governments of Russia and Turkey, Michael Flynn has updated his financial disclosure to reveal that he was hired as a consultant by Cambridge Analytica during the election, according to a new Associated Press report (link). Flynn claims he ultimately didn’t take any money from the company. But it now connects the dots between two major aspects of alleged Trump-Russia collusion which had up to now been seen as separate scandals.
It’s long been suspected, though never proven, that Cambridge Analytica was using voter data during the election that had been stolen by Russian government hackers. Part of the reason this has long been a dead-end is that it was never clear how the Cambridge Analytica players, Bannon and the Mercers, would have been communicating and conspiring with Russia to obtain this stolen voter data.
But now Michael Flynn is admitting that Cambridge Analytica hired him during the election. There is no realistic above-board reason for them to have done so. And of course Flynn’s connections to Russia and the Kremlin, ranging from payouts to phone calls to ideological alliances, have long been documented. It makes logical sense that CA would have hired Flynn to be its go-between with Russia. Moreover, Flynn’s sudden willingness to admit this link strongly suggests that he’s giving the Feds whatever information they want, as he tries to keep himself out of prison.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report