Senate Intel Committee takes control on Trump-Russia by rejecting Mike Flynn’s immunity request

Mike Flynn showed his hand this last night when he offered to testify in the Trump-Russia scandal in exchange for immunity. Donald Trump tried to bluff by publicly telling him to go ahead and do it. And then the Senate Intelligence Committee took control of the entire pot by rejecting Flynn’s offer, essentially saying ‘not at this time’ (link). Now they’re making him beg to be allowed back into the game to play his hand.

It was all a little too easy, you see. Flynn gets immunity now, and he can plop down in front of the cameras at the hearings and admit to any crimes he wants. But that’s the problem, because this early on in the process it has the potential to taint any potential future prosecution of Flynn. Immunity doesn’t mean he’s off the hook for his crimes, it just means that if he’s ultimately prosecuted, nothing he’s said during his testimony can be used against him. And so there’s no reason at this particular moment to hand him a free pass that could complicate things later.

If you watched the opening round of the Senate Intel Hearings this week, the witness list consisted of security experts and technical experts, the kind of people who are laying the groundwork for the overall context of the crimes that the Trump campaign and Russia conspired to commit. That way, by the time an eye witness like Sally Yates or a suspect like Mike Flynn is called to testify, the parameters of the crime will already have been established.

This takes a bit of time, but it’s how these things work. If you want to get to the top, which means ousting Trump, you have to start from the bottom up. If Mike Flynn is the middle floor, the investigation is still pouring the foundation. There’s no need, and in fact no gain, to giving Flynn immunity just yet. He wouldn’t be testifying for a bit anyway. So make him sweat it for now.

Now that Flynn has asked for immunity, we know that he’s guilty, and we know that he’s willing to give up Donald Trump to get himself off the hook —because he’s been around the block enough times to know that big fish can only get off the hook by giving up the biggest fish of all. So now the Senate Intel Committee, and the FBI, know how Flynn wants to play this hand.

  

By making him wait to get what he wants, they might make him more anxious, and willing to go into more damning detail about Trump. It also signals to other big fish that they might want to hurry up and cut a deal before Mike Flynn gets the good deal. Maybe get Flynn, Paul Manafort and Carter Page in a bidding war and see what they’re each willing to give up on Trump in order to have a chance to go home. It’s not time for Flynn’s testimony yet anyway. Might as well make him sweat a bit and see what comes out of it. Contribute to Palmer Report

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