As the saying goes, the process is the punishment. Had Gen. Mike Flynn summarily tossed the FBI agents who came to entrap him just a few days into his short-lived tenure as national security adviser, and had the increasingly hinky assistant attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, not written the memo that caused president Trump to fire James Comey, thus (deliberately?) triggering the entire Robert Mueller “investigation” of everything and nothing, Flynn wouldn’t be in this pickle. But here we are:
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is asking a federal court to continue postponing setting a sentencing hearing for Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty last year to a felony count of making false statements in the course of an FBI investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“Due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time,” prosecutors and defense attorneys wrote ina one-page report filed on Friday with U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.
The delay suggests that Flynn is still actively cooperating with Mueller’s office, that prosecutors believe his testimony could be useful at some future trial, or that the sentencing process might disclose some aspect of the investigation that Mueller still wishes to keep secret.
Each routine deadline in the case triggers considerable speculation and anticipation, particularly on the part of Flynn’s supporters, who contend that he was railroaded or tricked into pleading guilty through deception perpetrated by the FBI or others. Some, including Republican lawmakers, have suggested that FBI reports on Flynn’s interview with agents may have been altered.
Family members and supporters of Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency chief, who was fired by President Donald Trump after just 25 days as national security adviser, have also suggested that Flynn could withdraw his guilty plea or get a pardon from Trump. However, Flynn’s attorneys have remained mum about the case.
Unless Flynn is actually guilty of some monstrous malfeasance relating to his official duties, this entire sorry episode needs to be terminated quickly. Recall that Flynn was an Obama appointee to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency, but got cashiered by publicly doubting the wisdom of the former president’s view of the Iranians. He then became one of Trump’s most vocal supporters during the 2016 campaign and was named national security adviser in the new administration. But the Obama termites left behind immediately got to chewing the floorboards beneath Flynn’s desk, and he become the first victim of the “Resistance.” He should also be the last.