Who’s Michael Flynn? With so many faces, he might ask that question himself.
Michael T. Flynn served as a Trump campaign adviser in 2016. He then worked as National Security Adviser for 24 days before Trump issued the ol’ “You’re fired.” Word was out that Flynn had secretly met with Russia’s ambassador to discuss lifting sanctions, and Trump couldn’t be seen as endorsing that action — at least, not after it became known to the public.
Within a few months of the firing, Flynn requested immunity from prosecution from the Senate Intelligence Committee in exchange for his testimony. The committee denied his request.
Flynn was already known to be in hot water for accepting money to benefit Russian and Turkish governments (see below) without disclosing his actions to US authorities as required by law. He had also chosen to not disclose his foreign financial ties in his rushed Senate confirmation hearing to serve on Trump’s Cabinet.
In May 2017 CNN reported that US intelligence had evidence suggesting that Russia had identified Mike Flynn as their advocate in influencing Donald Trump. In June 2017 Flynn was exposed for directing Peter Smith, a longtime GOP fundraiser who sought to purchase files hacked from Hillary Clinton’s private computer server. Smith was reportedly comfortable with the idea of partnering with a front for Putin’s government (or anyone else) for the sake of the GOP.
Michael T. Flynn & The Foreign Checks
Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn apparently accepted Bigly Money from foreign powers:
Records show that Michael Flynn received approximately $34,000 from a Russian state-run TV channel in December 2015. The electronic trail reported by the House Oversight Committee reportedly includes an email from TV-Russia dated November 13, 2015 stating, “We will be covering the payment of General Flynn’s fee from our London office.” Yet in July 2016 Flynn told Yahoo News that he hadn’t taken any money from Russia.
And the Turkish candy: $530,000! The final $145,000 check in that installment arrived about a week after Trump “won” the presidency. Related to this work, in March 2017 Flynn formally registered himself at the Justice Department as a foreign agent. But he was illegally delinquent with his registration. And as preparation for his ethics clearance to serve on Trump’s Cabinet, Flynn should have disclosed the details of his lucrative consulting work for Inovo BV, a Dutch firm owned by a Turkish businessman with ties to Turkey’s President Erdogan.
The above financial moves wouldn’t suit a smart military tactician who’s loyal to his birth country.
How might Flynn’s above work pose a conflict of interest? For one, on Election Day Flynn’s firm published a newspaper op-ed in support of a pro-Erdogan policy involving extradition of a man from the US to Turkey.
“You’re Fired!” Are Flynn’s Funds Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion?
Donald Trump fired Flynn from the position of National Security Advisor in February. Publicly he faulted Flynn for having met with Russian officials without the Administration’s knowledge. The official Trump line was that if Flynn had dealings with Russia, they were independent of Trump.
But was Trump truly out of the loop? President Obama had warned him about Flynn’s questionable loyalties. Attorney General Sally Yates had warned him too. Trump Watchdogs imagine that the more Trump heard about Flynn’s “bad hombre” reputation, the more he considered him a partner. Or a tool.
Many roads might lead to hard evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. But tracing Flynn’s footsteps could be the easiest path for US law enforcement. The emerging story of Peter Smith is helping to clear the way.
Update: July 11, 2017 – Michael Flynn accepted $11,250 in 2016 from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian antivirus software company now under FBI investigation.
Senate Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Flynn
Investigating the possibility of Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee requested documents from Flynn on April 28. Flynn did not comply. On May 10 the Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena.
The Pentagon and the Defense Department have confirmed that their own investigations of Flynn are underway.
Video: Michael Flynn Chanting “Lock Her Up”
In 2016 Michael Flynn led chants urging Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned for allegedly acting against US interests.
If I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today… Crooked Hillary Clinton, leave this race now!
Psychologists call it projection. Political analysts call it deflection. Trump Watchdogs call it ironic.
Update: President Trump pardoned Flynn in November 2020. The pardon clears Michael Flynn of any crimes he may have committed in relation to the Mueller investigation.