Robert Mueller is still doing his job.
Despite all the criticism from the “president” and his cronies, Mueller has continued to press forward with his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
On Tuesday, the special counsel’s office released a court sentencing memo (pdf) in which Muellersaid because of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation with the government investigation, “a sentence at the low end of the guideline range—including a sentence that does not impose a term of incarceration—is appropriate and warranted” in Flynn’s case.
So Michael Flynn has opened up enough to help aid Mueller as he works his way up the food chain toward his ultimate prize—“President” Donald Trump.
Keep in mind the crimes that Flynn is charged with, also outlined in the same memo. “The defendant’s offense is serious,” the memo explains. Flynn is charged with making false statements to the Department of Justice when questioned about his contacts with Russia and Turkey during the election. That’s a whopper, considering the nature of the Russia probe, so for Mueller to recommend no jail time for Flynn, one would have to believe that Flynn is dropping dimes the size of bombs.
Flynn pleaded guilty to the charges against him on Dec. 1, 2017, something that the Mueller memo praises him heavily for by saying “The defendant deserves credit for accepting responsibility in a timely fashion and substantially assisting the government.”
Indeed, in the year since his guilty plea, Flynn has met with Mueller’s team 19 times—just shy of twice a month on average. The memo notes that Flynn is helping with more than one investigation. Given that Flynn worked not only as national security adviser but also as an adviser to Trump’s campaign and as a member of Trump’s transition team, he is in a unique position to provide a lot of information on a lot of different things.
Flynn has maintained a relatively low profile compared to the other Trump associates that have been swept up in the investigation. His “substantial” assistance to the government is likely a huge reason for that. The memo notes that as soon as Mueller’s office reached out to Flynn to seek his cooperation, he “accepted responsibility for his unlawful conduct and began cooperating with the government.”
Flynn knows what he is doing, and he is perhaps the only one of Trump’s cronies who may come out of this situation somewhat unscathed.
So what does that mean for Donald Trump?
“The defendant’s record of military and public service distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part the SCO’s investigation,” Mueller wrote in the memo. “However, senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards. The defendant’s extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on behalf of a foreign government.”
While written as an assessment of Flynn’s history and character, that paragraph could very well be a thinly veiled warning to Donald Trump.
As president, he is the most senior government leader, and he should be held to the absolute highest standard. As president, he should be particularly aware of the harm he is doing to the country with his daily dishonestly. He should know that performing work on behalf of Vladimir Putin is just something you don’t do as the president of the United States.
At least, that’s the way it reads to me.
Taking rumor, speculation, guesses and conjecture in the comments. Who is Mueller taking down next, and should Trump consider this a warning shot?