Things really, really did not go well for convicted Trump regime co-conspirator and foreign agent Michael Flynn at today's sentencing hearing as the former National Security Adviser suddenly remembered that he had a lot more cooperation to give to federal investigators in order to save himself from decades in prison.
A judge tore into Michael Flynn Tuesday ahead of imposing a sentence on President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and prominent campaign supporter for lying to the FBI.
Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, was an early supporter of the Trump campaign, and infamously called for the incarceration of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
He came under scrutiny for a variety of potential criminal activities, and reached a plea deal in December 2017 with the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller. As part of the deal, he agreed to cooperate and admitted making fraudulent statements in an interview with FBI agents at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017. Flynn stepped down as national security adviser in mid-February 2017, less than a month into the Trump presidency, because the White House says he misled officials there about his contacts with the Russians.
“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington told Flynn ahead of the sentencing.
Sullivan also walked through a number of procedural steps to make sure that Flynn was pleading guilty because he was guilty and not for any other reason. He seemed frustrated with many of the arguments from Flynn’s team that he suggested took away from Flynn’s supposed acceptance of responsibility for his crime.
Sullivan had Flynn admit, once again, that he had lied to the FBI and was pleading guilty because he was guilty. He gave Flynn ample opportunity to back out of his guilty plea, discussed with the prosecution the variety of other crimes Flynn could have faced, and said Flynn’s criminal exposure would have been “significant” had be been charged with the other offenses.
“This crime is very serious,” Sullivan said, noting that Flynn lied “In the White House! In the West Wing!” Flynn shouldn’t “minimize” his “very serious” offense, Sullivan said.
“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan told Flynn. He then asked the government whether undermining U.S. sanctions against Russia for their interference in the 2016 election could be considered treason, a suggestion the government didn’t want to weigh in on. (Soon after, the judge said he did not mean to suggest Flynn committed treason.)
Eventually an extremely terrified Flynn agreed to an offer by the prosecution to delay sentencing until March, pending more cooperation with investigators in the upcoming Virginia state case that was unsealed Monday against Flynn's former Turkish lobbying business partners, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin.
Oh but that's not the worst news for Trump today either, that would be the news that the New York state fraud and money laundering case against Trump's charity is so rock-solid that Trump himself has agreed to end of the Trump Foundation.
President Trump has agreed to shut down his embattled personal charity and to give away its remaining money amid allegations that he used the foundation for his personal and political benefit, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Tuesday.
Underwood said that the Donald J. Trump Foundation is dissolving as her office pursues its lawsuit against the charity, Trump and his three eldest children.
The suit, filed in June, alleged “persistently illegal conduct” at the foundation and sought to have it shut down. Underwood is continuing to seek more than $2.8 million in restitution and has asked a judge to ban the Trumps temporarily from serving on the boards of other New York nonprofit organizations.
Underwood said Tuesday that her investigation found “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.”
“This is an important victory for the rule of law, making clear that there is one set of rules for everyone,” she added in a statement.
The shuttering comes after The Washington Post documented apparent lapses at the foundation. Trump used the charity’s money to pay legal settlements for his private business, to purchase art for one of his clubs and to make a prohibited political donation.
Trump denied that the organization had done anything wrong. In late 2016, he said he wanted to close the foundation, but the New York attorney general blocked that move while it investigated.
The settlement with Underwood’s office represents a concession by Trump to a state investigation he decried as a partisan attack. The case is one of numerous legal investigations of Trump organizations that have proliferated during his presidency.
The nonsense that Trump was trying to shut the Foundation down but was prevented from doing so because of the investigation is a bit like a bank robber complaining that he's unable to access his account while the feds are looking for the stolen money.
Trump didn't have a choice in the matter, and it's only the first brick in the crumbling wall of his mobbed-up empire of crime.
It's already a miserable week for Trump, and it's only Tuesday.