Michael Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian Ambassador to the United States, but that doesn’t appear to particularly concern just about anyone in President Donald Trump’s inner circle. Now, during an interview with Axios, Vice President Mike Pence himself has indicated that he’d be “happy” to work alongside Flynn in government once again, even though Flynn’s lie to Pence about his communications with that same Russian Ambassador was the excuse that Trump cited for firing Flynn way back at the beginning of Trump’s tenure.
Why should Flynn be considered trustworthy when he’d already proven that he’s willing to lie to cover up something he might not want to get out but which could have grave consequences for national security? Flynn originally lied about what exactly he’d talked about with the ambassador. He told others that he’d not discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the official, but in fact, he had. Russian authorities could have used their knowledge of Flynn’s lie as leverage to pressure him into doing their bidding.
But the vice president doesn’t seem to care, as if basic trustworthiness on matters of national security doesn’t actually matter for officials working at the highest levels of the federal government. Pence told Axios:
‘I think General Michael Flynn is an American patriot. And for my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again.’
President Donald Trump himself has indicated that he’d “certainly consider” bringing Flynn back onboard at the White House, although it’s unclear what role he might take. Axios adds that “Trump insiders say they wouldn’t be surprised to see Flynn back on the campaign trail, where he was a warmup act for Trump in 2016.” Notably, during the 2016 campaign season, Flynn helped popularize the anti-Hillary Clinton chant “Lock her up!” Clinton, however, never faced any criminal charges. Flynn, in contrast, did — until Attorney General Bill Barr recently decided to drop the case, insisting that the case had been out of line since the beginning.
Trump has used the Flynn case as leverage to complain about the Russia investigation. Recently, he shouted on Twitter after Flynn’s charges were dropped:
‘Yesterday was a BIG day for Justice in the USA. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others. I do believe there is MUCH more to come! Dirty Cops and Crooked Politicians do not go well together!’
Yesterday was a BIG day for Justice in the USA. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others. I do believe there is MUCH more to come! Dirty Cops and Crooked Politicians do not go well together!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2020
No “dirty cop” went after Flynn or any of the other Trump associates who have faced criminal charges amidst the Russia investigation. They committed crimes, and frequently, these associates admitted to the crimes, and neither Trump nor any of his sycophants can simply wish those facts out of existence.
Barack Obama attacked the Trump administration on Friday in an address to former aides, criticizing its response to the coronavirus pandemic as “chaotic" and warning that the DOJ’s decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn endangered the “rule of law" https://t.co/vdkJ25DoAg
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 9, 2020
Barr’s team issued their decision dropping the case against Flynn right in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the attorney general promptly attracted steep criticism. Former President Barack Obama even suggested that the rule of law itself was in danger as long as Trump and his allies remained in power and continued to carry out their wishes through the nation’s justice system.
Neal Katyal and Josh Geltzer write that DOJ's Flynn move does 'appalling damage':
"This move embeds into official U.S. policy an extremist view of law enforcement as the enemy of the American people. It's a deception that Americans must see through." https://t.co/WxXod56TXe
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 10, 2020