National security expert and Lawfare editor in chief Benjamin Wittes explained in an extensive Twitter thread why President Donald Trump's supporters shouldn't count their chickens before they're hatched when it comes to Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
"Hold the champagne—and maybe put away whatever you’re smoking," he told Trumpland on Wednesday evening. "Gen. Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI not because he was framed but because he got a sweet-ass deal to avoid massive criminal liability for being an unregistered agent of a foreign power while working for a presidential transition. He also avoided his son’s prosecution."
New documents show that the FBI had a conversation about the need to get Flynn to admit in questioning that he violated the Logan Act, which prevents unregistered foreign agents from doing business with international governments on behalf of the United States. There was a discussion that they also look for occasions where Flynn lied under oath. As former federal prosecutors pointed out, it's something FBI agents do to all suspects. Flynn is no exception.
"While in the White House, he unequivocally lied to both the Vice President of the United States and to the chief of staff to the President of the United States about his interactions with the Russian ambassador," explained Wittes. "And he was fired for it. Nothing that has come out suggests the facts that he admitted to in the context of his plea are untrue or that his plea was coerced in any way."
He acknowledged that Trump may still pardon Flynn, but Flynn will never be "cleared" and Judge Emmet Sullivan won't be surprised by the latest "revelations."