Horowitz: Flynn Plea Agreement Spells Trouble for Trump Administration
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
The consensus of legal experts was Mueller would have only made this deal, if he was persuaded that Flynn had substantial and credible incriminating information about more senior level Trump Administration and campaign officials—and given that Flynn served as National Security Advisor-people that are ‘bigger fish’ than he are truly top-level officials. Reflecting this consensus, Notre Dame Law Professor Jimmy Girule, said, "Flynn would not be permitted to enter a plea bargain unless he had substantial credible evidence of criminal activity involving high-level members of the Trump campaign, including potentially the president himself. “Clearly this is not good news for President Trump.”
The charging documents, as well as follow-up reporting from the New York Times, have already punctured the fiction that Flynn was freelancing in his conversations with Kislak. It is clear from this newly released information that he was executing an agreed upon strategy when he urged Kislak that Russia temper its reaction to the Obama Administration’s imposition of tough sanctions issued as a response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections. He let the Russian Ambassador know that sanctions relief would soon by on the way—as soon as the Trump Administration took over the reins of the federal government. Senior transition officials were fully apprised by Flynn of these conversations as well as the former National Security Adviser’s additional appeal to Kislak to help kill a UN resolution critical of Israel, an appeal he made at the specific request of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.
This means, of course, that when Vice-President Pence went on television to say that Flynn did not discuss the sanctions issue with Kislak, even though Pence may not have known what he was saying was untrue, other senior members of the Trump Administration certainly did. Pence told John Dickerson on Face the Nation, “I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.” Sean Spicer echoed this patently false cover story.
These revelations alone, while not necessarily pointing to any criminality, further shred the already tattered credibility of the Trump Administration. Given Flynn’s first-hand knowledge of both campaign and transition interactions with the Russians, this is nearly certainly only the tip of the iceberg.
In a statement timed for release with the unveiling of his plea deal, Michael Flynn said, “I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the special counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
Whether motivated by genuine conviction and remorse, by self-preservation, or by a combination of the two, Michael Flynn now becomes the Trump Administration's worst nightmare.
Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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