A Possible Defense of Michael Flynn [with comment by Paul]

Like everyone else, I have puzzled over why General Michael Flynn apparently lied to the FBI when he had no reason to do so. We may never know the answer to that question, but here are a few possibly unrelated pieces of the puzzle:

1) Via InstaPundit, Michael Ledeen speculates about what drove Flynn’s guilty plea:

While working with General Michael Flynn on The Field of Fight, I interviewed many of his former colleagues in order to better understand my co-author. Virtually all of them described a man who cared deeply about the truth and presented it in circumstances that were certainly not favorable to him. These people portrayed General Flynn as a compulsive truth-teller.

So why has he now confessed to making false statements to the FBI?
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It doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe Flynn intentionally misled the FBI, or anyone else, about his unquestionably licit conversations with the Russian ambassador.

I think the “guilty” plea tells us more about the Mueller investigation, and about the politicization of “justice” more generally, than it does about presumed malefactions by the retired general.

I think that Gen. Flynn admitted guilt in order to stop the pain for himself and his family.
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It is notable that Mueller and company have apparently dropped their investigation of Gen. Flynn’s son, and the plea agreement will dramatically reduce the family’s legal expenses.

I believe Flynn has said that he has spent $1 million on lawyers, and felt compelled to plead guilty to something lest he be ruined financially.

2) Then we have this from Glenn Reynolds:

SO THE FBI SUPERVISOR WHO WAS TEXTING ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATED TRUMP is the one who interviewed Mike Flynn. “A supervisory special agent who is now under scrutiny after being removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office for alleged bias against President Trump also oversaw the bureau’s interviews of embattled former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, this reporter has learned. Flynn recently pled guilty to one-count of lying to the FBI last week. . . . Strzok was removed from his role in the Special Counsel’s Office after it was discovered he had made disparaging comments about President Trump in text messages between him and his alleged lover FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to the New York Times and Washington Post, which first reported the stories. Strzok is also under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his role in Hillary Clinton’s email server and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling. On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Devin Nunes chided the Justice Department and the FBI for not disclosing why Strzok had been removed from the Special Counsel three months ago, according to a statement given by the Chairman.”

This stinks to high heaven. But wait, there’s more involving shady FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe [Ed.: McCabe is a Democratic Party activist masquerading as a law enforcement officer]:

According to another source, with direct knowledge of the Jan. 24 interview, McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the “earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called,” the source said.

McCabe told Flynn “some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate,” the source said.

“It wasn’t until after they were already in (Flynn’s) office that he realized he was being formally interviewed. He didn’t have an attorney with him,” they added.

Comey was lecturing us about the FBI’s professionalism and integrity just today. Pathetic. This looks like a sleazy, deliberate trap.

There is no doubt that under the leadership of Robert Mueller and James Comey, the FBI became a sleazy, partisan operation. A thorough house-cleaning is needed, although it will come too late to do Michael Flynn any good.

3) I would like to see the transcript of the interview of Michael Flynn by Democratic Party activist Peter Strzok and his colleague that gave rise to Flynn’s guilty plea. What, exactly, did Strzok ask Flynn, and how, exactly, did Flynn respond? Is there actually any clear-cut falsehood in the transcript? I wonder.

Maybe Flynn really did try to mislead the FBI, for reasons that seem inexplicable. Or maybe he was an innocent man, crushed by the overwhelming power and financial resources of the Democratic Party, represented here by the FBI and Robert Mueller and his team of activists. If I could see the transcript of his interrogation, I would tell you which of those scenarios I think is closer to the truth.

PAUL ADDS: Andy McCarthy suggested a reason why Flynn might have lied about interactions with the Russian ambassador even though they didn’t break the law. He wrote:

Even though Flynn’s interactions with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak did not amount to Trump-campaign collusion in Russia’s perfidy, they did show that the Trump transition was dabbling in foreign relations with the Putin regime (among other foreign governments) and was attempting to undermine the policy of the incumbent Obama administration — at least on the U.N. resolution condemning Israel. . . .

[W]e have only one president at a time. It is unseemly for an incoming administration to undermine the sitting president. If revealed, such behavior would be politically damaging enough. Here, that damage of Trump-transition interference with President Obama’s foreign relations would have been magnified by Russia’ involvement, given that Democrats were accusing Trump of colluding with Putin to throw the election. This made any conversation about the sanctions between Flynn and Kislyak look terrible, no matter how innocent they were and no matter how normal for a transition period.

To be clear, I’m not saying that Flynn was thinking this or, for that matter, that he lied. And I agree with John (and Glenn Reynolds) that Peter Strzok’s role as the interviewer of Flynn during the FBI investigation stinks. Like John, I would like to see a transcript of the interview.

I also wonder why the FBI questioned Flynn about his interactions with the Russian ambassador — interactions that were legal and normal in a transition period. I have long thought that it was an attempt to set Flynn up. That suspicion deepens given the new information about the role of Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok in the proceedings.

Being set up does not, of course, excuse lying — if Flynn lied. But the FBI’s apparent eagerness to entrap Flynn makes me want to see what, exactly Strzok asked Flynn, and how, exactly, Flynn responded.

Responses

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