I’ve been concerned about General Flynn since I became aware of his existence in 2017 about the time President Trump at a press conference was asked why the general had departed from his post as national security adviser to the president. At the time Mr. Trump’s pleasant, matter of fact response to questions about general Flynn’s departure, saying that he fired him because of incorrect information he’d given to Vice President Pence about contacts with a Russian diplomat, made it seem that the president bore no ill will toward Mr. Flynn or anyone else involved in the matter. But the thought of the president’s firing Flynn, a man I later learned had been with him throughout his primary and presidential election campaigns, seemed odd.
About that time I was aware of the view that Mr. Flynn had resigned; in fact that question came up in the press conference which I expected would eventually be settled. But in the months and years that passed any time I sought a definitive answer to the question: was the general fired or did he resign, the question was never settled; most journalist opinion was that the general had resigned with some mention that he had been fired. I always felt that if he’d been fired the reason was hard to fathom especially since the president seemed to accept the outcome without antipathy, eventually asking FBI head Comey to go easy on the general whom they’d arrested for lying.
I then had additional reason for bewilderment, Flynn’s arrest. What did his leaving his position as national security adviser, being fired or having resigned, have to do with his arrest for lying to the FBI which the president was certainly aware of when he asked Comey to go easy on Flynn.
So why did the the FBI charge him with lying? The only answer I could find online for several years was that he’d been set up to lie when he thought he was being informally interviewed and wouldn’t need a lawyer. Yet if this entrapment was a set up why didn’t the president ask more of Comey than just that he go easy on Flynn; why didn’t he demand an explanation of FBI tactics?
Only recently did I learn that Mr. Flynn and his son had been consultants to the government of Turkey.
In reading General Flynn’s recent letter asking the court to relinquish his guilty plea made to avoid prison and the threatened indictment of his son, he affirms contrary to that original plea that he did not lie when he denied discussing Obama’s sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador. He in fact did not recall whether he’d discussed the Obama sanctions.
That same conversation with the Russian ambassador was denied by Flynn when he briefed VP Pence; for this reason Trump said he fired Flynn( asked for his resignation). Flynn, however, said that he resigned because of the fact that that conversation had been leaked to media causing an unwarranted distraction in the early days of the Trump administration.
May 11, 2020
Now that William Barr; United States attorney general, has said there never had been a justifiable reason for the FBI to pursue General Flynn, the time I’ve spent determining why the president reacted so pleasantly to Mr. Comey’s FBI arresting the general, not demanding Comey explain why he’d arrested him or that he himself had to fire the general for lying to VP Pence instead of saying as he did; he’s a nice guy , “go easy on him”, I’ve learned that the only people who care about Flynn’s legal troubles and apparent exoneration by the justice department are Mr. Trump’s most doctrinaire supporters and me.
I still believe that Mr. Flynn’s relationship with Mr. Trump, Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan could reveal more about the real President Trump than has been appearing in 5 years of mocking media reports.