In the days since it became clear Michael Flynn would lose his National Security Adviser job over his role in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, and in particular in the hours since he resigned last night, all eyes have been on Flynn for signs on whether he plans to flip on Trump and spill the beans. But now it turns out the FBI has been onto Flynn for some time about Russia, and he may have lied to them in the process. If so, that’s a felony and it can be used to force him to flip.
Around the time that Michael Flynn lied about the nature of his Russian phone calls to Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and other key figures in the Trump administration, he was also interviewed by FBI over the matter. What did he say to FBI agents? Did he lie to them as well? That’s not yet been disclosed. But by that time Flynn was already so far down the rabbit hole that he was lying to everyone involved.
And if you’re assuming Flynn would be too wise to lie to the FBI, knowing that doing is a felony, keep in mind that Flynn had already become so sloppy by that time that he had forgotten the calls he was making to the Russian ambassador were being monitored. So if Flynn did lie to the FBI about Russia in a way that the FBI can factually prove was a lie, then he’s sunk legally – and his only way out will be to spill everything.
What’s less clear is how strenuously the FBI will pursue this matter. FBI Director James Comey bent over backward to publicly tip the scales against Hillary Clinton during the election. But the mere fact that his FBI was investigating Michael Flynn after the election, as revealed the New York Times, suggests that Comey is willing to pursue the Russia scandal this even though Trump is now his boss. And if the FBI tells Flynn that his only way to avoid jail time is to spill what he knows about Donald Trump’s role in Russian collusion, that would flatly be the end of Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report