Ever since it was revealed ten days ago that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was about to begin arresting key players in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, we’ve been waiting to see when Michael Flynn would face the handcuffs. It turns out he wasn’t among the first three people arrested in the scandal – but as we keep waiting, it’s important to bear in mind that Flynn has already been indicted.
This isn’t mere speculation; we know Flynn has been indicted because the former Director of the CIA publicly telegraphed the indictment ten days ago. It got precious little media attention because the news about the impending arrests came just a few hours later, but former CIA Director James Woolsey confirmed to the media that he fully cooperated with Mueller on the Flynn case. Woolsey is clearly a cooperating witness here, and he’s enough of a legal pro to know that you don’t open your mouth and risk tainting a grand jury while it’s still out.
Woolsey’s decision to speak up means that there’s already a sealed indictment in place. The question now becomes why Mueller hasn’t yet unsealed that indictment. There are a few different possible explanations. After having made an example out of Manafort by arresting him for all to see, Mueller may be trying to give Flynn a chance to come around and cut a deal. It’s also possible that Mueller is waiting until an indictment is in place against Michael Flynn Jr before arresting them both. It’s widely believed that Mueller will offer leniency to Flynn Jr if Flynn Sr flips on Donald Trump.
But here’s what is clear: in the grand jury case against Michael Flynn that involved James Woolsey as a witness, the sealed indictment is already in place. Flynn has already been indicted, whether he knows it or not. By the way, Woolsey presumably testified that he witnessed Flynn conspiring with the Turkish government to kidnap a guy in Pennsylvania and ship him off to Turkey – so Flynn’s arrest will set off an explosively juicy media narrative about the Trump-Russia scandal now involving kidnapping.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report