The last time Donald Trump tweeted about his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn was on April 20 and this is what the President said:
So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!
That tweet came less than a month after reports that former Trump attorney John Dowd at one point raised the prospect of a presidential pardon for Flynn, who found himself ensnared in the Mueller probe early on.
Read more in our full Michael Flynn archive
As it turns out, Flynn doesn’t need a pardon because on Tuesday evening, Robert Mueller recommended he serve no prison time. The reason: Flynn’s “substantial assistance” with multiple ongoing investigations.
Flynn of course pleaded guilty on November 30, 2017, and has been cooperating with the Special Counsel since. On Tuesday night, the public got some tantalizing details about that cooperation. Unfortunately, the “best” parts are redacted.
The full sentencing document is embedded below, but suffice to say the following doesn’t sound very promising if you’re Donald Trump or anyone associated with the President.
Clearly, the fact that Mueller is letting Flynn get away with no jail time is evidence that the Special Counsel finds him (Flynn) to be a highly useful witness. As we saw last week with Paul Manafort, Mueller has no patience for people who strike cooperation agreements and then don’t cooperate.
“Given the defendant’s substantial assistance and other considerations set
forth, a sentence at the low end of the guideline range – including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration – is appropriate and warranted,” U.S. prosecutors write in the filing.
Flynn’s dubious claim to fame is serving less than a month as national security adviser before being forced out after it became apparent that he lied to Mike Pence about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak.
There’s also a long-running connection between Flynn and Turkey. That’s an insanely deep rabbit hole and those interested in going down it can take the plunge in “As Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty We Ask: What Does Reza Zarrab Know?”
You’re also reminded that Trump accidentally implicated himself in obstruction a year ago while tweeting about Flynn. Specifically, the President tried to “paraphrase” John Dowd, who later claimed to have ghost written the following tweet.
Pretty much immediately, lawmakers, legal experts and pundits lit up the internet, noting that the President had just admitted to obstructing justice. The thing is, if Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he pressured James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn on February 14, 2017, well then that’s obstruction.
In any event, the Tuesday court filing from Mueller detailing Flynn’s cooperation is just another legal setback for Trump, who is still stinging from the most recent Michael Cohen bombshell, which dropped less than a week ago.
In light of Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn serve no jail time, I suppose we can all drop the “lock him up” jokes…
It never gets old.