If you were waiting for the next bombshell in the Michael Flynn saga, the wait is over.
On Friday evening, the Trump faithful got a rare piece of good news as it relates to the Russia probe when ABC was forced to admit that they had jumped the gun by reporting that Flynn – who admitted to lying to the FBI – was prepared to testify against “candidate” Trump. As it turns out, what they should have said was “President-elect” Trump and needless to say, that’s a big difference.
Of course it says something about just how desperate this situation has become when the only “good” news you get is that the decidedly bad news wasn’t as bad as it first appeared. That is, there is nothing “good” for the administration about their former national security adviser flipping and turning into a witness for Robert Mueller.
Over the weekend, things got materially worse as the New York Times released excerpts from an e-mail sent by former deputy national security adviser KT McFarland (known among the transition team as “Flynn’s brain”). According to multiple sources, McFarland was the senior transition official at Mar-a-Lago who talked with Flynn about communicating with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions.
The e-mail – from McFarland to Thomas Bossert and later sent to Flynn, Reince Priebus, Bannon, and Sean Spicer – reads as follows:
Ok, well on Wednesday, the New York Times is back and according to an account by a whistle-blower made public on Wednesday, Flynn once told a business associate that economic sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” as soon as Trump was in office. Here’s the Times:
Mr. Flynn believed that ending the sanctions could allow a business project he had once participated in to move forward, according to the whistle-blower. The account is the strongest evidence to date that the Trump administration wanted to end the sanctions immediately, and suggests that Mr. Flynn had a possible economic incentive for the United States to forge a closer relationship with Russia.
Mr. Flynn had worked on a business venture to partner with Russia to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East until June 2016, but remained close with the people involved afterward. On Inauguration Day, according to the whistle-blower, Mr. Flynn texted the former business associate to say that the project was “good to go.”
But you really don’t need the Times here. Because again, the correspondence this is based on is now public.
The account comes courtesy of a letter written by Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and addressed to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Committee, Trey Gowdy (you all know Trey, right? If not, see here).
Apparently, Mueller’s team had asked Cummings not to make this public until after certain steps had been taken in the investigation. Well now, it’s public.
The letter also includes other super-fun (and super-nefarious) soundbites attributed to Flynn’s associate. Soundbites like these:
Just got this text from Michael Flynn – we are good to go.
Mike has been putting everything in place for us.
Obama fucked everything up in my nuclear deal with the sanctions.
This is going to make a lot of wealthy people.
You can read the full letter below.
It is not good.