As if there wasn’t been enough news in the past week, the last 18 hours produced even more bombshell revelations about the ongoing Russia scandal that has engulfed the White House for months, including a fresh report about Trump maintaining contact with his disgraced former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. This latest damning revelation could constitute witness tampering, depending on the exact details of the conversation.
“The more we learn the worse it looks for President Trump, Vice President Pence, Michael Flynn, and the entire administration. They’ve been acting as if they were above the law since day one, and sooner or later, the lies and cover ups are going to result in consequences,” said Shripal Shah, Vice President of American Bridge.
Here are the top takeaways:
- The Trump Transition knew about Flynn’s legal troubles but hired him anyway. During the transition, which was led by Vice President Pence, the team learned of Flynn’s legal troubles yet still decided to make him National Security Adviser. Flynn disclosed this information January 4, according to the New York Times.2. Flynn’s quid pro quo: Flynn stopped a military plan that Turkey opposed after being paid as its agent. Just a week after the Trump transition learned that Flynn was under investigation by federal authorities, Turkey’s investment in Flynn paid off. According to McClatchy, “One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired — and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.” This took place January 10th, 10 days before Trump was inaugurated.
3. The Trump team — including Flynn — was in touch with Russian officials a whopping EIGHTEEN TIMES that were previously undisclosed until now. The phone calls and emails took place during the last 7 months of the presidential campaign, a timeline that overlaps with the release of emails stolen by Russians that were later distributed via Wikileaks. According to Reuters, “Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said. Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.”
4. Witness tampering? Trump has remained in touch with Flynn. According to a new Yahoo News report, Flynn has been in touch with the President as recently as last month — a move that could be considered witness tampering, depending on the exact content of the conversations. “‘I just got a message from the president to stay strong,’ Flynn said after the meal was over, according to two sources who are close to Flynn and are familiar with the conversation, which took place on April 25.”