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Easy Peasy Pleaded Sleazy

Recently, President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. This is notable for two reasons:

  • Flynn is first member of Trump's White House (not just campaign) to plead guilty.
  • Flynn only went down on one charge despite being charged with many (MANY) things.

What does this mean? Is Trump impeached? Is Flynn in jail? Is anything going to happen? Does anything ever happen?

Trump is still out there tanning and tweeting around the White House, but it's not good news for his camp. Most experts agree that the fact that Flynn got off so easy - he could've gone down on a whole list of other charges - means he gave Mueller's investigators a lot of information. Like, A LOT. It was our official notice that Flynn is cooperating with the investigation.

Flynn's been a major target since this Russia investigation started because - he's been up to shenanigans. There's been questions about his conversations with Russian diplomats for months. The flames of this chatter were only fanned when he neglected to disclose income from Russia and Turkey-linked entities after being appointed National Security Advisor, potentially violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (His consulting firm was paid $530,000 for work during the campaign that might have benefited the Turkish government.) We also recently learned of him being investigated for a bizarre movie-style kidnapping scheme involving a plan to force the extradition to of a Muslim cleric wanted by the Turkish government. The plot involved millions of dollars and, just an FYI for interested parties, kidnapping is generally illegal anyway.

With all that in mind, consider that Flynn only pleaded guilty to ONE count of making false statements to the FBI and, though that charge can carry a five-year prison term, under his agreement he will face at most six months and a $9,500 fine. Easy peasy! What a deal!

So how did Flynn get off so easy?

For the gossip, man! Flynn's got some dirt and he's likely already shared it with Federal investigators. Experts have been speculating up a storm about what this could mean, and many say that, in general, a plea deal like Flynn's would require him to share incriminating evidence about two people of equal stature (say, White House Cabinet members) or a BIG FISH like Pence or Trump. DRA-MA!

What now?

We wait and watch to see who's next on the "Mueller's List." And we make popcorn. It's no fun watching without popcorn.