Michael Flynn is in trouble. I assume you know that.
The man who famously rallied Trump supporters around the “lock her up” chant and who in September of 2016 told NBC that “when you are given immunity it probably means you’ve committed a crime” only to himself ask for immunity just six months later, is in the cross hairs of Robert Mueller who, according to multiple reports, now has enough evidence for an indictment.
Flynn is implicated in a litany of shenanigans, not the least of which is an alleged plot to kidnap Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen at the behest of Turkish President Recep Erdogan in exchange for $15 million.
That scheme – documented in a series of articles by the Wall Street Journal – is part and parcel of Erdogan’s long-running quest to have Gulen extradited to face all manner of charges centered around what Ankara contends is a vast conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Gulen is at the center of frayed diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Turkey and it now appears that Robert Mueller may have flipped Reza Zarrab, the gold trader accused of evading U.S. sanctions on Iran possibly in conjunction with Erdogan. That story has spiraled out of control and Turkey is clearly panicking, going so far as to open their own investigation into Preet Bharara and prosecutor Joon H Kim who Erdogan swears are in cahoots with Gulen.
Michael Flynn’s son is in jeopardy in all of this and NBC suggested earlier this month and Mueller may well use the younger Flynn as leverage to flip the father in the Russia probe.
Well on Thursday, the New York Times is reporting that Flynn may well be cooperating with Mueller. To wit:
Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, according to four people involved in the case, an indication that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating such a deal.
Mr. Flynn’s lawyers had been sharing information with Mr. Trump’s lawyers about the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining whether anyone around Mr. Trump was involved in Russian efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
That agreement has been terminated, the four people said. Defense lawyers frequently share information during investigations, but they must stop when doing so would pose a conflict of interest. It is unethical for lawyers to work together when one client is cooperating with prosecutors and another is still under investigation.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but that is just about the worst news imaginable for Trump. If Flynn is cooperating to save his son, that could give Mueller key insight into exactly what went on during the early days of the administration and in the weeks following the election.
You’re reminded that Flynn pushed propaganda produced by a Russian troll factory in and around the election. He also penned a pro-Erdogan Op-Ed for the Hill literally on election day – a disclaimer was later added to the bottom of that piece to reflect Flynn’s relationship with Turkey.
“Mr. Flynn is regarded as loyal to Mr. Trump, but he has in recent weeks expressed serious concerns to friends that prosecutors will bring charges against his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who served as his father’s chief of staff and was a part of several financial deals involving the elder Mr. Flynn that Mr. Mueller is scrutinizing,” the Times goes on to write, in the same piece linked above.
We have long said that if Flynn is forced to choose between Trump and his own son, it may be unrealistic to assume that he will not roll on the President, especially given Trump’s penchant for turning on supposed allies at the drop of a hat.
Back on April 25, when Flynn was under heavy fire, he met with a group of friends at a restaurant in the suburbs of northern Virginia. When everyone was finished, he said the following:
I just got a message from the president to stay strong.