The big news this week was that Mueller managed to bring a charge against General Flynn for lying to the FBI, months after he had already been cleared by the FBI, or something. I’m confused by this, because I was told that Flynn had been conducting all sorts of illicit business on behalf of Russia and Turkey and was planning to kidnap some people. This seems…different from that.
For those of you keeping track, Mueller’s investigation has resulted in two convictions for failing to tell the FBI the truth about something that wasn’t a crime and two indictments for matters unrelated to the 2016 election. Of the two convictions, one was at least related to a line of questions with regard to the defendant’s activities during the campaign (Papadopolous). Flynn’s was apparently over him being surveilled by the Obama Administration as he was performing his job duties. The fact that we know about this phone call because Flynn’s name was unmasked and illegally leaked is actually the more serious crime here, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it to be seriously investigated.
Are we any closer to learning the indisputable truth about how Russia and the Trump campaign colluded to deprive Hillary Clinton of the presidency? No, not really. I mean, yes, the facts are being investigated and nobody can say that Mueller isn’t applying maximum pressure to squeeze out all of the details from anyone who was in the know with all the power the law has given him. But what can come of it? Is Mueller just out to prosecute anyone who was in any way connected to the Trump campaign for old crimes whose investigations had long been abandoned, crimes that are rarely prosecuted, and when all else fails, simply nailing them for process crimes?
Kind of looks that way. Andrew McCarthy at NRO explained very well why there’s no reason to think that Mueller has flipped Flynn to uncover a grand Russia conspiracy. Alan Dershowitz agrees and made the point that if Flynn were going to be a key witness for Mueller, the last thing Mueller would want to do is convict him for being a liar.
Sure, there is sufficient reason to be suspicious of Flynn. I’m not saying that he didn’t lie or that he’s a great dude. Trump fired him for lying to Pence, after all. Whatever the reason Flynn gave to the Vice President and the FBI for why was speaking to the Russian ambassador, he didn’t tell the truth. I’d like to know why as much as all of the NeverTrumpers who can’t wait to see Trump impeached over Russian hacking. That, unfortunately, is where it all falls apart and why I don’t think we can ever “know” the “truth”.
I’ll say it bluntly. I do not trust Mueller or the FBI. Can you blame me?
This really goes far toward illustrating the frustration Trump supporters have with this entire investigation. It’s the selective and unequal enforcement of the law. Clinton’s associates were given immunity during Comey’s “investigation” of her emails specifically so that there was no risk anyone would be caught up in the sort of process crimes that have ensnared Flynn and Papadopolous.
Trump himself has picked up on this and I can’t say that he’s wrong.
Nobody is being indicted for leaking Flynn’s name to the press after his unmasking. Nobody has been arrested for leaking grand jury information about Manafort’s indictment, or for the other leaks from Mueller’s team. The entire Valerie Plame investigation was launched for less than this.
I have no choice but to reaffirm my position from a few weeks ago. Mueller should step aside. Trump can’t remove him, but it’s painfully obvious that Mueller is either on a fool’s errand or a partisan snipe hunt. If Mueller does not have anyone to charge over the core purpose of his special counsel and is instead going to focus on crimes unrelated to the election or crimes that hadn’t occurred until the investigation itself created them, Trump will be well within his rights to pardon absolutely everybody the day after Mueller announces that he’s finished.
Other related and some not related items…
Brian Ross was suspended for a month for spreading fake news over the Flynn indictment.
One of those reasons I don’t trust the FBI:
Who’s next after Flynn? Kushner? Don Jr? I’m dubious. If Mueller goes after Trump’s family for some bullshit process crime, there’s no telling how berserk Trump will go in return. At the bare minimum, I’d expect Trump to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Mueller and bankrupt him with a years long investigation. If Mueller actually does it, I’ll admit that I was wrong, but I don’t see it. What I am still expecting is to see Tony Podesta indicted. Surprised that one hasn’t popped up yet.