Michael Flynn, Take Your F*cking Pardon And GO AWAY!
Look, we all know where this is going. Trump pardons literal actual former agent and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn claiming WITCH HUNT and gross misconduct by the FBI, no one at the FBI is ever prosecuted because that's complete bullshit, and wingnuts claim flawless victory over the evil Deep State. It's inevitable as the sunrise. In fact, it's just like the sunrise, except if the sun were bathing us in high doses of toxic radiation that poisoned civil discourse and destroyed a functioning justice system. Hooray!
The facts of this case are not in dispute and have never been in dispute. On December 29, 2016, after President Obama announced punitive measures against Russia for its interference in the election, Michael Flynn urged Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak not to retaliate, promising that Trump would undo Obama's directives. And when the conversation was reported by the Washington Post on January 12, both Sean Spicer and Mike Pence accused the Post of having gotten the story wrong.
"They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia," Pence said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
All of which meant Flynn was heavily compromised. Because the intel agencies were tapping Kislyak's line, so the FBI knew that the National Security Advisor had been caught on tape promising the Russians sanctions relief — the very thing Putin had gone to the trouble of hacking our election to achieve, including offering sexxxy Hillary dirts to Dumbass, Jr. — and Flynn was now in a position to be blackmailed. The NSA had placed himself smack in the middle of the Russia investigation, and FBI was fucked, because doing their jobs was going to get them crosswise with the new, lunatic president.
Which of course, it did.
Flynn later signed a plea agreement, under penalty of perjury, admitting that he'd lied to the FBI agents who came to interview him on January 24. He admitted it again in open court and under oath, swearing under penalty of perjury that he was voluntarily cooperating and not being coerced. Twice!
He even tweeted it.
But now he'd like to withdraw his guilty plea and pretend that those mean FBI agents just tricked him into saying lies. And then they forced him to admit that he'd lied under oath. So it is LOCK HER UP for the FBI!
And Attorney General Bill Barr, who is willing to burn down the entire Justice Department to curry favor with the Fox News loons, has ordered the FBI to turn over internal deliberations in an effort to obscure the fact that Flynn voluntarily pled because admitting to the false statement to law enforcement agents and helping Robert Mueller was a really good deal for him. It meant he wouldn't be charged for all the FARA fuckery and offers to black helicopter Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen out of our country in exchange for $15 million.
All of which brings us to the latest disclosures ferreted out by US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen in Operation Destroy the DOJ to Help This Corrupt POS Because LOL Nothing Matters Anymore.
Because in the wingnutosphere, FBI agents debating whether the goal of the interview with Michael Flynn was "Truth/Admission or get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired" is tantamount to an admission of entrapment. It's very clearly not entrapment in any court of law, or in objective reality. Entrapment involves law enforcement agents coercing someone to commit a crime he would not otherwise have committed by dangling irresistible inducements in front of him. It most certainly does not involve the FBI seeing if a highly trained military officer intends to repeat a lie he has already told to half the White House. But Trumpland doesn't exist in objective reality, preferring to remain in a padded cell of Fox, OANN, and collective delusion.
In the wingnut universe, it would have been appropriate for the FBI and intelligence agencies to simply ignore the fact that the highest intelligence officer in the land was in a position to be blackmailed by the Kremlin and was smack in the middle of an investigation of Russian electoral interference with the goal of getting sanctions lifted. And because the FBI knew the answers to the questions before it asked them, it is somehow very cool and very legal that a career military man who'd had a security clearance since his balls dropped lied about a national security issue.
In fact, if you speak fluent wingnut, it is actually the FBI agents doing their job trying to protect national security who are the real criminals here.
It's all so exhaustingly stupid. You want a twitter thread from a former federal prosecutor on why this is very much not entrapment or a violation of the Brady rule? Here's one by Barb McQuade. Have one by Popehat. Hell, throw in one by Joshua Geltzer, for good measure. And while we're at it, here's some good points by Carissa Byrne Hessick on the selective outrage at overweening law enforcement tactics by people who routinely support gross Fourth Amendment violations of the rights of poor and/or brown people.
The point is, this isn't a legal argument by Michael Flynn. It's PR, and it'll probably work. Not with the judge, of course, but with Commander Pardon Pen.
Just get it over with already, so we don't have to write about this worthless asshole who somehow got tricked into lying by and to the FBI and repeatedly admitting it under oath anymore. Because frankly, this shit is tiresome.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.