Out of all the Trump associates who are under investigation for Russian ties, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s probably in the most trouble. He lied to the FBI and VP Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and he lobbied for Turkey last year, plus all of those foreign payments were something that he was warned not to accept after his 2014 retirement. Trump dragged his feet for eighteen days after Sally Yates warned him about his vulnerability to Russian blackmail, which proves — at least a little — that Trump wasn’t just worried about starting a firing avalanche, but might have a soft spot in his heart for Flynn.
And maybe the president would like to catch up for not-so-old-time’s sake? The Daily Beast reports that Trump really would like to contact Flynn, and his desire is apparently so strong that White House attorneys have warned him multiple times not to do so. Whether or not Trump will listen is something no one can predict, but even the tiniest conversation would present the appearance of shenanigans (or a conspiracy), which is something that no one on the Trump team (including the president) can afford. Here’s why:
If Trump spoke directly with Flynn amid ongoing investigations, it could be portrayed as witness tampering. Such conversations would create “HUGE issues,” according to national security attorney Brad Moss. “Talking with witnesses got Nixon in trouble.”
“The last thing they would want is an allegation of conspiracy, witness tampering or coordination,” said Mark Zaid, Moss’s partner, in an email. “If Flynn is going to be indicted, or certainly under investigation, then I would want the president to be as far away from him as possible.”
Trump’s probably wondering why the hell he can’t talk to whomever he wants to, for he’s a grown man and leader of the free world. He’s so blindingly angry about Russia, which is like a black cloud hanging over his administration, and — in Trump’s mind — he still thinks that Flynn deserves immunity even after the Senate refused to grant it to him in exchange for his testimony. The Daily Beast relays word from two White House sources who say that Trump “feels bad about how things went down,” and underneath it all, the president still feels that Flynn’s “being treated unfairly by the press and the Democrats on Capitol Hill.” Of course.
By the way, Flynn was not only recently asked to reveal his Russian communication records and emails, but the Senate Intelligence Committee went ahead and subpoenaed the documents because Flynn isn’t willingly giving anything up. Trump ignored both Sally Yates and Obama when they warned him against hiring Flynn, but he really has no choice but to heed these warnings from White House lawyers.
(Via Daily Beast)