As news broke today that former aide to President Trump Michael Flynn would testify that Trump ordered him to talk to the Russians during the transition phase between administrations, the loony left and foot soldiers in The Clinton Crime Syndicate exploded with joy that actual evidence of “how Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the election from Hillary Clinton” was in sight and it would bring down Trump and see his administration removed from office and replaced by a Hillary Clinton administration (an outcome that would be completely impossible under US electoral law.).
The reality turned out to be somewhat less of sensational vindication for them.
While mainstream media scrambles to uncover more information on just what Flynn knows, or doesn’t know, and how exactly he is cooperating with Mueller, earlier today the Special Counsel released the following “statement of the offense“, i.e., i.e., Robert Mueller’s full case against Flynn, which he will hope to use and impeach Trump. It all boils down to two phone calls between a senior member of the Trump administration and the Russian ambassador to the US at the time.
Here is the key section:
On or about December 28, 2016, then-President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13757, which was to take effect the following day. The executive order announced sanctions against Russia in response to that government’s actions intended to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted FLYNN. On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN called a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team (“PTT official”), who was with other senior members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the U.S. Sanctions.
On that call, FLYNN and the PTT official discussed the U.S. Sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration’s foreign policy goals. The PTT official and FLYNN also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation. Immediately after his phone call with the PTT official, FLYNN called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner. Shortly after his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with the PTT official to report on the substance of his call with the Russian Ambassador, including their discussion of the U.S. Sanctions.
On or about December 30, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin released a statement indicating that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the U.S. Sanctions at that time. On or about December 31, 2016, the Russian Ambassador called FLYNN and informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to FLYNN’s request. After his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with senior members of the Presidential Transition Team about FLYNN’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador regarding the U.S. Sanctions and Russia’s decision not to escalate the situation.
There is more in the full document, including a similar contact between the Russian ambassador and Flynn over a UN vote. It is particularly worth noting that both events cited in the Mueller prosecution took place after the election had already concluded, which prompts the question: wasn’t Mueller tasked with uncovering how Russia colluded to help elect Trump, and not how Trump was looking to de-escalate the abysmal diplomatic relations between Obama and Putin?
ABC News reported that Trump directed Flynn to speak with the Russians “initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria.”
In other words, Trump committed the grievous sin of attempting to work diplomatically with another super power to defeat Islamic terrorism.
This is hardly the damaging revelation Trump’s enemies claimed was coming.
“Sorry to be a party-pooper but if this is the extent of the “directive” Flynn received, it’s incredibly mundane,” commented journalist Michael Tracey.
As the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy points out, “There’s less to the news than meets the eye.”
“It remains unclear why the Obama Justice Department chose to investigate Flynn. There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. Plus, if the FBI had FISA recordings of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak, there was no need to ask Flynn what the conversations entailed,” he writes.
“Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians — initially to lay the groundwork for mutual efforts against ISIS in Syria. That, however, is exactly the sort of thing the incoming national-security adviser is supposed to do in a transition phase between administrations. If it were part of the basis for a “collusion” case arising out of Russia’s election meddling, then Flynn would not be pleading guilty to a process crime — he’d be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy.”
In other words, for Flynn’s behavior to be proof of “Russian collusion” that embroils Trump, he would have had to had access to a time machine given that he spoke with Kislyak after the election.
The notion that Trump colluded with Russia by asking Flynn to speak to Ambassador Kislyak is also ludicrous.
The real reason Flynn was brought down on a technicality is because he made an enemy out of the deep state by directing exposing them for failing to fight ISIS and to some extent actually helping the spread of radical Islam.