Former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI Friday and it has dominated the 24 hour news cycle:
Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.
Flynn is the first person inside President Donald Trump’s administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. The developments are a sign that the investigation is intensifying, and details revealed Friday provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in their contact with Russian officials to influence international policy.
According to an FBI statement, Flynn communicated with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak after being asked by a senior Trump transition official to find out how foreign governments stood on a coming UN Security Council resolution about Israel. The prosecutors did not name any transition officials.
Since January the democrats have been screaming that President Trump colluded with Putin and the Russians to rig the presidential election in his favor. There were so many allegations without any proof that the Shock Exchange assumed it was a bunch of smoke and mirrors. The Flynn drama gives legs to the allegation. First of all, why would Flynn lie if he had nothing to hide. We all know that the cover up is worst than the deed. Secondly, to ever get the “big fish” – Trump or others – Robert Mueller had to get to a lower level operative with knowledge about the inner-workings of the Trump administration. At the end of the day, Trump won the election fair and square. The public did not want Hillary Clinton as president. Nonetheless, lying to the FBI is never a good thing and could lead to federal charges.
Flynn’s plea agreement stipulates he will cooperate with federal, state and local authorities pursuant to the Mueller investigation. In other words, he agree to “tell what had happened.” In exchange Mueller will not prosecute Flynn for certain other crimes such as misreported foreign lobbying filings pursuant to his work with Turkey. Most of the drama pertains to phone calls Flynn allegedly made to Kislyak to ask that Russia not respond to harshly to U.S. sanctions. Such sanctions placed by the Obama administration allegedly had the potential to hamper Trump’s foreign policy goals. The FBI states Flynn lied about not asking Kislyak to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions from the U.S.
It is difficult to ascertain whether catching Flynn in a lie is the smoking gun, or if the FBI has other information damaging to the Trump administration. If there is other information then it could behoove the FBI to remain mum for now. It will likely look to gather information from Flynn to build cases against other members of the Trump administration before potentially going after the “big fish,” whomever that might be. Even if roads do not lead to the president, the investigation could create enough havoc as to weaken Trump and make him ineffective to pass legislation such as tax form or infrastructure investments key to his agenda.
On Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?