Flynn Investigation Part of ‘Great Sleight of Hand’ That is Russia Gate
REUTERS/ Carlos BarriaOpinion03:40 07.11.2017(updated 03:42 07.11.2017) Get short URL238110
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, is allegedly under scrutiny by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who is reportedly considering filing an indictment of Flynn.
Flynn, who achieved the rank of lieutenant general in the US military, founded a lobbying and intelligence firm alongside his son, Michael G. Flynn. Trump appointed the elder Flynn, who advised him on the campaign trail, to the office of National Security Adviser after he took office in January.
But Flynn didn’t last a month in the position. He resigned after it was revealed that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about communications with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The White House reported that Flynn left over “trust issues,” and that there was no suspicion of illegal activity on his part.
Among the charges now speculated may come Flynn’s way are whether or not he was paid millions of dollars by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to extradite Erdogan’s rival Fethullah Gulen from the US back to Ankara. The plan was never actually executed.
Brian Becker and John Kiriakou of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear spoke to Dan Kovalik, a human rights lawyer who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
“The whole Flynn issue is interesting in part for what it is not,” said Kovalik. “I don’t see anything about the so-called Russiagate allegations surfacing, except to the extent that maybe Mike Flynn had lied about a meeting he had with the Russian ambassador — which did not itself seem untoward, but maybe he had not fully disclosed it.”
“So it appears that maybe there’s going to be some allegations about Flynn not disclosing some meetings he should have, and also questionable financial dealings that that he and his son had. But nothing, apparently, having to do with collusion allegations with Russia.”
Kiriakou brought up the rumor that Flynn may be brought in on the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping — a serious charge, but not related to Russian collusion. “Whenever you’re under an investigation, everything becomes fair game,” said Kovalik. “It seems like they’re finding very little of the collusion-type allegations that they were looking for, but I think that they might nail Flynn for something like kidnapping. I think he’s probably in a lot of trouble right now, he’s probably talking to his lawyers this point, desperately looking into his options. As you say, the kidnapping charge could land him in jail for quite a long time.”
Kovalik expressed skepticism that there was any truth to the charges of collusion, calling them a “great sleight of hand, getting folks not to look at the man behind the curtain. The bigger issue seems to be the very super-rich in this country don’t pay taxes, they find ways not to pay taxes by having offshore accounts; that should be a great concern. Congress seems poised to give the rich even greater tax breaks, but instead you have a story about a guy who has business dealings with a company that has business dealings with a Russian oil company.”
“Anything that smacks of having anything to do with Russia is somehow tainted, that’s the whole underlying assumption. Somehow, Russia is a uniquely evil force in the world, and if you have any connection to it, even a couple connections removed, you are somehow suspect.”