National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Resigns in Disgrace
Michael Flynn, National Security advisor to Donald Trump, is forced to resign after being exposed for lying about his communications with Russia. Directly after the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for hacking the 2016 election, Flynn engaged in private conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
Seemingly innocuous conversations between Flynn and Russia’s ambassador threatened U.S. safety.
Flynn undermined the effectiveness of Obama’s sanctions by assuring the Kremlin that Trump would lift any sanctions against Russia once in office. Those conversations amounted to negotiating and dealing. But when Flynn participated in those conversations he was a private citizen, not a government official. Thus, he was barred from engaging in such activity.
Rather than own this illegality, Flynn compounded his bad decision making by lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian communications. Flynn then allowed Pence to disseminate misinformation to the American public.
Two questions Trump’s administration must inevitably answer – What did Trump know? When did Trump know what he knew? Impeachment remains an unlikely possibility with Trump’s party controlling both houses of Congress. However if evidence indicates that top officials were directed by the President, to break the law, Congress will be forced to commence impeachment proceedings.
As Nixon acknowledged during his first speech to the nation addressing the Watergate scandal, “there can be no white wash at the White House.” This concept is not lost to time, and Donald Trump is not immune to accountability. Despite his many efforts to subvert the will of law, Trump is liable for adhering to that rule.
According to a Washington Post report, not only did Flynn participate in illegal conversations with Russia, but the White House was also notified by the Justice Department and the FBI that Michael Flynn could be susceptible to blackmail from the Russians. Flynn's resignation validates allegations of collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and the Kremlin. Trump appears fearful of Russian backlash, and remains unwilling to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for anything. This pattern should trouble U.S. officials.
The worst reality of this ordeal stems from the knowledge that Trump and other White House officials sat on this information for over ten days before finally addressing it late Monday night. On Twitter Trump inadvertently admitted his real displeasure – leaks in his White House.
This offers a glimpse into Trump’s psyche. He was not displeased with his national security advisor for deceiving the American public. Trump was willing to allow Flynn's lies to go unchecked. But for the research and reporting of the Washington Post, we would never know and Flynn would prospectively still be Trump's national security advisor.