Mueller’s investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials jumped into high gear on Friday morning. Former Gen. Michael Flynn, who was appointed as Trump’s national security adviser but resigned after less than a month when it was discovered that he lied to the FBI regarding communications with Russia before Trump’s inauguration, pled guilty to lying about those communications and confirmed that he was cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his ongoing probe.
ABC News confirmed that Flynn is prepared to testify that President Trump instructed him to make those contacts, but Bloomberg now adds another dimension to those confessions. According to campaign officials, the order was communicated to Flynn by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
‘Two former officials with the Trump transition team who worked closely with Flynn say that during the last days of the Obama administration, the retired general was instructed to contact foreign ambassadors and foreign ministers of countries on the U.N. Security Council, ahead of a vote condemning Israeli settlements. Flynn was told to try to get them to delay that vote until after Barack Obama had left office, or oppose the resolution altogether.’
While direct collusion with Russia to undermine democracy in the 2016 U.S. elections has not yet been proven, the call by Flynn with Sergey Kislyak does constitute a crime. Flynn negotiating with a foreign government as a private citizen to undermine the sitting president is a violation of the Logan Act.
And, @BuzzFeedNews confirms the Bloomberg scoop: It Was Kushner Who Told Flynn To Make Calls About Israel UN Vote, Source Says https://t.co/0Zl68uXAjd… by @aramroston & @John_Hudson https://t.co/bcG5Sg4XnF
— Warriors (@twitwar2017) December 1, 2017
According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein:
‘This shows a Trump associate negotiating with the Russians against U.S. policy and interests before Donald Trump took office and after it was announced that Russia had interfered in our election. That’s a stunning revelation and could be a violation of the Logan Act, which forbids unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with a foreign power.’
However, the charges could go even deeper. If Trump or Kushner directed Flynn to offer the lessening of sanctions against Russia – sanctions voted on by Congress and as yet not imposed by Trump – they are implicated in the crime Flynn committed. The same is true if Flynn directed members of the U.N. security council to ignore President Obama’s directives to vote on Israeli settlements, the same is true. At this point, Flynn is only reported to be prepared to testify that the order came from the president.
If his testimony also supports that the allegation that these moves were made in exchange for the hacked emails from the DNC server, or that they were in any way given as concessions for Russia’s help in ensuring Trump’s election, collusion will have been proven and Trump’s claims of a “witch hunt” against him goes down in flames.
As many journalists have already said, Mueller and his team would not in any way have been willing to allow Flynn to make a deal to avoid more serious charges than lying to the FBI unless he was able to give evidence implicating someone much higher up than he was, and there aren’t a lot of people in the Trump administration higher than a national security adviser.
Reports say that Flynn is prepared to give up Trump. Jared Kushner may be next in line.
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Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla