This week, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn faced his sentencing hearing after previously pleading guilty to lying to authorities about his contact with Russia. Things didn’t go quite as planned, though, and the sentencing itself ended up postponed — and in that new free time opened up, incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says he wants him to appear before his committee.
‘After the judge acknowledged the seriousness of Flynn’s conduct, he has allowed Trump’s former National Security Advisor to defer sentencing until after he has fully cooperated with the government. It will be important that Flynn also cooperate with our Committee and testify.’
Such a call wouldn’t have had nearly as much weight as it does now before about a month and a half ago. In the just concluded midterm elections, Democrats won back control of the U.S. House and found themselves on the road to pushing forward the various investigations they’d long clamored for.
Schiff personally had previously joined with the House Intel Committee’s Democrats to publish a list of further lines of Russia scandal-related investigation and witnesses to call should they have the chance — and now they do. Republicans led in part by outgoing House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had previously prematurely closed their investigation into the Russia scandal in favor of investigating the authorities who ever brought the issue to light — since apparently to them, they’re the real issue here as if we’re in grade school and fighting tattle tales or something.
In reality, while Republicans have chased their tails, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been charting the course of the Russia scandal and its aftermath.
Flynn — whenever he does make it to prison — will be the fourth and counting Trump associate to find themselves there. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has spent time in prison after a judge sent him there because of his witness tampering efforts, former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos recently reported for a two week prison sentence for his own lies to authorities, and most recently, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance law violations in which the president has been directly implicated.
Think about that — four former associates of the president have either been in prison or soon will be.
As for Flynn in particular, scrutiny of his conduct came way back at the beginning of the Trump administration. He privately consoled then-Russian Ambassador to the United State Sergei Kislyak that the Trump team didn’t plan to carry on with Obama era sanctions over the Kremlin’s election meddling and then egregiously and repeatedly lied about it.
He was thereby in the Russians’ pocket — and other foreign interests, since he also secretly lobbied in the U.S. for Turkey. Just recently, two of his former associates were slapped with indictments over their secretive lobbying scheme.
In other words — the story of the Russia scandal very much continues to be written, despite the president’s continued best efforts to throw the whole thing out.
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