The Daily Beast

Donald Trump Tried to Help Michael Flynn. Instead, He Played Himself.

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

It’s a bad idea to try holding a show trial when the judge is not in your pocket but that’s what Trump consigliere William Barr did when his Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss its own case against twice-admitted felon and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. 

While Trump will doubtlessly succeed in protecting Flynn from going to prison, he could do so at the cost of either a drawn-out court battle that will tortuously expose the mendacious nature of the DOJ’s effort to undermine the Russia investigation, or the issuance of a pardon amounting an admission of what the world already knows: that he’s letting a guilty crony off.

At the outset, let’s make clear how weak and pretensive an exercise the DOJ’s motion is, given that Flynn’s guilt is not in colorable dispute. Even Barr’s mouthpiece, Timothy Shea—who’s about to end a very short stint as acting D.C. U.S. Attorney because he risked being rejected for a permanent appointment in an upcoming vote by the court’s judges—doesn’t deny that Flynn, a former general and head of the army’s intelligence unit, baldly and knowingly lied to FBI agents about a call he had with the Russian ambassador immediately after the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for its successful interference in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf. 

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