As far as Donald Trump is concerned, still convicted national security risk Michael Flynn is now an asset to his 2020 campaign and he wants Flynn back on his team ASAP.
With the Justice Department announcing Thursday that it would drop the case against Michael Flynn, officials close to President Donald Trump are already gaming out ways to bring the former national security adviser back onto the national political stage.
Of the nine senior Trump administration officials, campaign staff, outside advisers, and longtime associates of the president reached on Thursday, all said that they wanted Flynn to assume some public-facing role in service of the president, including potentially as an official Trump surrogate Election Day inches closer. One even compared the ex-general, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, to one of history’s greatest human rights icons.
“Years ago when Nelson Mandela came to America after years of political persecution he was treated like a rock star by Americans,” John McLaughlin, one of President Trump’s chief pollsters, told The Daily Beast on Thursday evening. “Now after over three years of political persecution General Flynn is our rock star. A big difference is that he was persecuted in America.”
Flynn’s career has been defined by remarkable highs and humiliating lows, having gone from a well-respected intelligence official to an outcast in the Obama administration, to a top surrogate for an insurgent Trump campaign to a disgraced but cooperative witness in the Mueller probe. A forthcoming chapter as a redeemed MAGA hero would seem, in some regards, almost appropriate.
And Trump himself seems determined to see it happen. According to a source who has spoken to the president about Flynn in the past month, Trump had made clear that if legal circumstances permitted, he would want Flynn to get “something good” in his political orbit following years of bad press and legal turmoil. The source said it was unclear if Trump meant a job in the administration, a role for the 2020 campaign, or another position. But the remark was in keeping with other comments that the president uttered throughout the duration of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
As The Daily Beast reported in May 2017, Trump privately expressed hopes that a conclusion of the FBI investigation might permit Flynn to rejoin the administration from which he had recently gotten the boot. Several sources close to Trump said at the time that the president didn’t even believe Flynn should’ve been under any investigation at all.
“Trump feels really, really, really bad about firing him, and he genuinely thinks if the investigation is over Flynn can come back,” one White House official said in May 2017.
And last week, the president told the press that he would “certainly consider” reinstalling Flynn in his administration, adding that the retired general was already an “exonerated” man, even before the Justice Department ditched the case.
This is frankly a mobster capo being rewarded publicly for taking one for the Trump crime family.
Again, Judge Sullivan doesn't have to accept the DOJ dropping the charges. Bmaz weighs in at Marcy Wheeler's place on what happens next:
Yeah, I don’t know the answer to that. We shall have to await Judge Sullivan entering in with his thoughts. I have no idea where Judge Sullivan will go. For the sake of the rule of law, and, frankly, legal sanity, I hope Judge Sullivan takes this as the full on broadside to law and intelligence that it really is. As I importune relentlessly, courts and law are a function of men and women. They are us. They speak and act for us. Judge Emmet Sullivan is not a man that will take this affront to justice lightly. Nor should he. It is absurd, the court should treat it that way, and, if anything, sanctions ought be imposed on Powell and Flynn.
Okay, where does that leave things? Now that is not a very easy question to answer. Here are a few thoughts though. The first one is “prejudice”. It is absolutely critical whether a dismissal request by the DOJ (or any prosecutor for that matter) is “with prejudice” or “without prejudice”. Here, Tim Shea, and it is crystal clear that means Bill Barr, demands that any dismissal be “with prejudice”. That means that no case based on these facts could ever be brought again. It is a pardon by a corrupt DOJ, without Trump ever having to even issue a pardon. Anybody, including the national press, that describes it differently is straight up lying.
The statute of limitations on a 18 USC §1001 charge for false statements is (as pretty much any charge possible against Flynn save for an ongoing conspiracy allegation) is five years, which is the general statute in federal criminal law. But, you see, that exceeds the time of Trump and Barr if Trump is not reelected. And therein lies the problem and why Mr. Barr and his lackeys Shea and Jensen, are apoplectic to make any dismissal “with prejudice”. Does this ever occur in real criminal justice life? No. Hell no. Of course not, in fact it is always “without prejudice”. Always, unless the government is caught by incontrovertible facts beyond dispute, and even then they usually demur to “without prejudice” dismissal.
But, wait, there’s more, I have other questions! Let’s talk about “materiality” for a moment. It is replete in the position taken by Bill Barr through his boy Tim Shea. To be kind to Mr. Shea, he is an eggplant installed by Trump and Barr. And, here, the eggplant has signed this pleading on his own. Normally any such pleading would be signed by underlings, including career prosecutors. But not here. Why? not clear, but no career track lawyer in DOJ would undersign this garbage. So there is that.
Back to “materiality”: Peruse pages 12-20 of the DOJ motion. Good grief, law review articles will spend hundreds of pages in the future laughing at the arguments Tim Shea has signed off on. Because, presumably nobody but a Trump/Barr appointed toady would even touch that. Yes, it is truly that absurd.
Okay, a parting shot: Normally, when a client puts an attorney’s work in dispute through claims of malpractice, all attorney/client privilege is waived. That is generally how it works. And if Flynn and his Fox News addled lawyer Sid Powell have not accused Rob Kelner and Covington & Burling of malpractice, then there has never been such an accusation. Privilege is waived.
While I thought Judge Sullivan should have disregarded the nonsense, denied all the the Powell crazy (arguably unethical conduct) and just sentenced Flynn. Marcy was right, and I underestimated just how sick the DOJ could be under Barr.
Well, here we are. Flynn and Powell have waived privilege. The DOJ under Barr and, here, Shea, is corrupt beyond comprehension.
But the irreducible minimum is that Judge Emmet Sullivan is the one with jurisdiction and control of this case. Not Trump. Not Barr. An honest and good judge, and one that has proven that over decades. Sidney Powell was right about one, and only one, thing: The Stevens case is a template for the court to find the truth.
Emmet Sullivan is a judge that can appoint an honest and independent special prosecutor to make sure real justice is done. Trump and Barr cannot fire the truth if Judge Sullivan seeks the truth and justice. And he should, for all of us. Judge Sullivan is a lion of justice that has done this before, and he should again.
We'll see what Judge Sullivan does. I would think he's not going to lie down.