Editor’s note: sweet mother of god the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory simply will not fucking die no matter how many times people who’ve seen the evidence say there is no proof the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 US election, will it? I swear to you all that I’ve been staring at research notes for an article on GOP voting rights hypocrisy for about a week now but every time I sit down to write an article about it, my inbox is blowing up with people freaking out about the latest hyper-exposed Russiagate information.
This of course means that today’s Brief Thought is once again about what I’ve taken to calling “The Giant Russia Theory” and we’ll be unpacking the “bombshell” revelation that Trump’s disgraced former national security advisor and key Russiagate figure Michael Flynn has offered to testify before pretty much anyone who’ll listen in exchange for immunity from prosecution:
Note: if you’re having trouble reading the above info-graphic, just right click on it and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version; I’ve been trying to focus on shorter summations so that I can use larger text on the memes themselves but it’s definitely a work in progress at the moment.
The most important thing I want to establish before we go any further is that I have virtually no idea what Flynn knows or is prepared to say in front of a congressional committee under oath; which is naturally why I can’t guarantee with absolute certainty that he isn’t going to say the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. I’m not Michael Flynn, I wasn’t in the room during Trump campaign meetings and I see no point in pretending I have special insight into the former national security advisor’s mindset at this moment. By that same measure however, nobody who’s rabidly declaring that Flynn’s offer is definitive proof that the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory is real can tell you what he’s going to say either and there are already some clues that it’s not going to crack the case wide open – starting with the obvious question of why Flynn isn’t already in protective custody spilling his guts out if he had told the FBI he could hand them the keys to Russiagate?
Of course, what we do know about Michael Flynn is that he’s a temperamental fucking crackpot who’s already been caught lying to officials and double-dealing as a lobbyist as well as being one of the few human beings in the history of American government actually stupid enough to get caught violating the goddamn Logan Act; all of which culminated in his resignation this past February. In other words, Flynn has demonstrated an active pattern of playing fast and loose with rules he doesn’t seem to understand and therefore represents precisely the type of person who might find himself in need of immunity for all sorts of violations that don’t objectively prove Trump is Vladimir Putin’s mind-controlled puppet. Furthermore, once Flynn was granted such immunity he would be free to say very little at all about Donald Trump before the committee much in the way Huma Abedin was free to say very little about Clinton after she was similarly immunized by the Department of Justice in the FBI email server investigation. Is it really all that unreasonable to suggest a proven liar who definitely broke the law, might be misleading investigators about how much he knows now to protect himself from prosecution for something other than being a Russian mole?
This brings us to the other major problem with believing that Flynn’s offer means the Russiagate conspiracy theory is real; assuming (purely for the sake of argument) that Flynn is a Russian agent and he is prepared to testify about colluding with Vladimir Putin to rig the 2016 US election – how (besides the testimony of a known perjurer) are you going to prove that the swine emperor even knew about it or better yet, that Trump intended to work with Russian agents? I hate to keep going back to the Hillary Clinton email server investigation but do I need to remind you that we already know there is a very different definition of “intent” for the powerful in America than there is for you or I? The White House will almost certainly deny anything incriminating that Flynn reveals and unless his testimony starts a cascade effect that brings more people forward to testify against Trump, the Republican Party will probably refuse to impeach their own President based on anything Michael Flynn has to say. Under the very best possible circumstances, Flynn’s testimony merely represents part of the Russiagate puzzle and at worst, this is just the latest in a long line of dishonest tricks by a political mercenary looking to cover his own ass for unrelated violations.
Despite these words of skepticism however, I would still like to point out that this is by no means a bad development for people hoping to see Donald Trump’s proto-fascist presidency crash and burn like the goddamn Hindenburg; myself included. While I still sincerely doubt that anyone will ever prove the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to fix the 2016 US election, it’s certainly not all that difficult for me to believe that the Trump campaign may well be guilty of other disqualifying crimes of a more mundane nature. When last I checked, things like bribery were still illegal (if extremely difficult to prove) in the United States and if Flynn were prepared to start connecting the dots between campaign donations and say, cabinet appointments selected by a certain Mercer family – we could still well be looking at the kind of meltdown capable of taking down a terrible President who is clearly in over his head.
The simple truth for the moment however is that we don’t know what Michael Flynn has to say and until we do, it still doesn’t make sense to toss around accusations about a foreign nuclear power based on potential future revelations that may never come.
- Nina Illingworth
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