Despite GOP leadership’s refusal to investigate Michael Flynn’s discussion of US sanctions with Russia before Trump took office, his resignation after only 23 days as National Security Advisor tells us that despite GOP denials, intelligence professionals take this threat seriously enough to leak it to us like a sieve, even as they are allegedly withholding intelligence from Trump for fear of “Russian ears” in the room. This telegraphs their perception of a clear and present danger coming from somewhere inside the Trump White House. The prospect of Russian influence over the 2016 election is a bigger scandal than Watergate and though much of the Beltway Press was disinterested when it counted, namely before this travesty unfolded on November 8th, they are beginning to take it seriously. Now it looks not only as though more heads will roll, but that patriots like former Acting AG Sally Yates, who weeks ago warned the White House of Flynn’s behavior, a few brave journalists, millions of protestors, and yes, the brutal comedy of SNL, may save the Republic after all — and sooner than later.
In fact, hearing that Flynn tendered his resignation Monday was the first decent night’s sleep I’ve had in three months. While Flynn’s resignation is but a small first step in righting the ship, one must admit this is fast work. By the way, this is not something I would ever dream of writing had Mitt Romney or John McCain, both former Republican nominees, been elected President. While I disagreed with them on politics, I had no doubt both men were patriots. Sadly, with Trump, his history is that of a man so wholly consumed by self-aggrandizement, so erratic and undisciplined, so unprepared for the responsibilities and rigors of the office, I have no such faith in his allegiance.
As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out in an explosive segment on the rule of law, since General Flynn has long been under investigation by FBI, CIA, and the US Army (and Trump had to know this), why was he appointed National Security Advisor in the first place? Then again, Flynn is only one of a number of Trump appointments that should never have gotten near the jobs for which they were chosen. In a lightning fast reaping of Karma, Flynn is the one who campaigned for Trump by screaming “Lock Her Up” in reference to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Just another example of a faux accuser being hoist on his pen petard.
That list is bound to grow now.
Ms. Maddow’s guest, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Tim Weiner discussed Michael Flynn’s resignation, stating:
“Flynn has fallen farther, faster than any powerful official in the 20th century in America. We are watching, in real time, very quickly, a powerful counter-intelligence investigation by the FBI, with the assistance of the CIA and the NSA that is targeting the top of this government.”
The Trump/Pence inner circle, coupled with power mad GOP operatives like Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan desperately hope Flynn falling on the grenade will be an end to the scandal. Although they will do their best to make it so, this is unlikely, but it will take millions of voters applying continuous pressure on our representatives to move investigations forward.
We know they don’t want an independent counsel. Owing to GOP control of both the Legislating and Executive branches, a proper investigation may only begin, if it ever does, after more kicking and screaming than you or I have yet witnessed. Newly minted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senior Trump campaign operative, cannot be trusted to be objective and should recuse himself (he won’t). The needed investigation must also include FBI Director Comey, who swung the election to Trump with his faux letter “targeting Hillary Clinton” 11 days before the election.
I believe we will uncover more collusion by the Trump campaign with Putin, tainting the whole process, meaning that that Hillary Clinton is our rightful President. The chances we ever get that outcome are nil. Yet at this point, I’d settle for someone rational in the White House who followed rules and protocols and didn’t discuss matters of national security in front of other dinner guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
The only positive news here is that a compromised actor, Michael Flynn, has been forced to step down after just 3 weeks. The viral nature of news and social media means that information is not going to hit the nation at the stately pace of Nixon/Watergate 45 years ago. Citizens must stay mindful of the real crime and not buy into twitter wars and distractions. Flynn’s resignation is but the tip of the iceberg and there can be no settling for his head on a plate while the current GOP gut the social safety net or push authoritarian rule as evidenced by White House policy advisor Stephen Miller who said: “the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
If justice is done, it will not come from those at the top, but from the judiciary, dedicated mid-level operatives in the intelligence community, reporters (who have better things to do than regurgitate click-bait) and civic minded citizens who refuse to let us forfeit the rule of law.
Another good idea would be to show up and vote accountability back into office in 2018.