Remember the huge fuss the never-Trump media made out of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow? In articles written in 2016, 2017, and 2018 they suggested that the retired Army general was a “compromised” Russian stooge and that the trip bordered on treason. This has been a cornerstone of the Russia collusion narrative involving Flynn for several years now.
When Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley learned the truth in May 2017, he requested that the information be made public in fairness to Flynn, because it completely exonerated him of any wrongdoing in the affair.
“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.
A year and a half later, the truth finally has come out: “Flynn’s attendance at the RT event was disclosed in advance to the intelligence community, he took proactive steps to ensure he could not be compromised by attendees and he then came back to the United States and reported intelligence designed to benefit America,” The Hill’s John Solomon reported on Wednesday.
Incredibly, the U.S. intelligence community has kept this exculpatory information secret for nearly two years, allowing the retired Army general’s name to be dragged through the mud.
According to Solomon’s sources:
- Before Flynn made his infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow — as a retired general and then-adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — he alerted his former employer, the DIA.
- He then attended a “defensive” or “protective” briefing before he ever sat alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia Today (RT) dinner, or before he talked with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- The briefing educated and sensitized Flynn to possible efforts by his Russian host to compromise the former high-ranking defense official and prepared him for conversations in which he could potentially extract intelligence for U.S. agencies such as the DIA.
- When Flynn returned from Moscow, he spent time briefing intelligence officials on what he learned during the Moscow contacts. Between two and nine intelligence officials attended the various meetings with Flynn about the RT event, and the information was moderately useful, about what one would expect from a public event, according to my sources.
There’s no dispute that Flynn did make mistakes — he inexplicably misled the FBI and Vice President Pence about his phone call with the Russian ambassador (when he had done nothing wrong) and didn’t file proper foreign-lobbying paperwork for money he received from Turkish sources — and for those reasons he was fired. According to Solomon, he also likely did not file the proper paperwork for the $45,000 in speaking and travel fees he got for the RT event in Russia.
It should be noted that Flynn paid dearly for those sins while many others have gotten off scot-free with much worse.
Meanwhile, the intelligence community sat back and allowed Flynn to be characterized as a traitor for years when they knew all along that he acted as a patriot when he visited Moscow in December 2015. And that’s a sin of omission they will never pay for.