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Press: Michael Flynn changes the game

Press: Michael Flynn changes the game
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We have no idea how the Mueller investigation will end. But one thing we know for sure: Nothing the White House says about it is true. It is not, as Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE, repeatedly insists, a “witch hunt” or “fake news,” dreamed up by Democrats to undermine his election. And it is not, as Trump attorney Ty Cobb suggests, “winding down” anytime soon.

The indictment of former national security adviser Michael Flynn proves that special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a serious criminal investigation of the Trump administration. It has already snared four members of the Trump campaign team. With Flynn’s guilty plea, it has now moved from the Trump campaign into the Trump White House. And it is closing in on Trump himself.

Based on documents released at Friday’s guilty plea by Michael Flynn and subsequent news reports, here’s what we now know:

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1. Despite Trump’s denial of any connection, there were, in fact, multiple contacts between members of the Trump team and Russian officials. The Washington Post has identified nine of them: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report Acting AG will meet with DOJ ethics officials to discuss possible recusal: reports Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe MORE, George Papadopolous, Carter Page, Michael Cohen, J.D. Gordon and Donald Trump Jr.

 

2. In talking with the Russians, Flynn was not, as the White House spins, some “rogue
operative.” He was acting at the direction of, and reporting back to, Trump transition officials at Mar-a-Lago who wanted to improve relations with Russia. Question: What did Trump himself know about orders given to Michael Flynn?

3. In her emails sent to the Trump transition team, key adviser K.T. McFarland makes clear that Flynn’s outreach to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was part of an effort by the incoming Trump administration to seek better relations with Russia despite their attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. After all, admits McFarland, Russia “has just thrown U.S.A. election to him.”

4. Flynn is now cooperating with Mueller, which means trouble for everybody in the White House. Mueller’s moving up, not down, the chain of command. That should make everybody around Flynn nervous, including Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Jeff Sessions, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups Pence’s meeting with Japan and India crucial to countering China How President Trump won last night MORE and Trump himself.

5. In one explosive tweet, which he may or may not have written, Trump says he fired Michael Flynn because he lied, not just to Mike Pence, but to the FBI. The very next day, the president asked James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. Question: If he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI, why didn’t Trump do anything about it earlier?

6. With Flynn’s indictment, it appears that, in addition to collusion, Mueller’s focused more and more, as Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHow Republicans are likely to handle Democrat-led investigations  Feinstein: Acting AG must pledge to Senate he won't interfere with Mueller Kavanaugh report shows why the presumption of innocence is key MORE (D-Calif.) has observed, on “putting together a case of obstruction of justice.” Which is more bad news for Trump. Collusion may not be a crime, but obstruction of justice clearly is. And any argument that the president can’t be charged with obstruction of justice is ridiculous. Ask Richard Nixon.

Bottom line — the indictment of Michael Flynn is a game-changer. The Trump administration is in peril. There’s a good chance it may not survive beyond 2018.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.”