Flynn’s self-promoting resignation was occasioned by leaks to CNN by several high ranking members and former members of the intelligence community. This occurred almost three months after a conversation between Flynn and a Russian diplomat was recorded and transcribed and after Flynn lied to Congress about the substance of the call. This information was apparently conducted through the proper channels and the White House had no response at all, so the acting Attorney General informed the White House that Flynn was at least vulnerable to blackmail for having made that call. Again the White House denied publicly that there was a problem with Flynn and expressed complete confidence in him.
To all appearances the information was leaked to the media only after the anonymous intelligence officials despaired of any action being taken on what might be felonious — perhaps even treasonous — conduct. Only when the information about Flynn’s secret communications with a Russian agent was made public was he made accountable and his resignation followed. The White House, now confronted with unassailable evidence that it had the information about Flynn, changed its narrative to say that it had been analyzing it for weeks.
This of course has caused a political storm and some Republicans have lashed themselves to Trump’s boat. The Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is insisting that the investigation of Flynn will stop and turn to investigating the leaks that led to his resignation, totally disregarding the looming questions about Flynn’s activities and the White House’s involvement with them.
The Justice Department to all appearances is functional and the intelligence agencies did what Americans dearly hope will happen when there is a White House coverup.
The best spin the White House can credibly put on this is that in the tumult of executive orders there has not be adequate attention to security, resulting in delays in acting on repeated alerts about Flynn. This though seems like it would be out of character for our president. What remains to be seen is whether Flynn, untethered to the White House and being made a scapegoat, will come forward with an accounting of things, or more likely someone on his staff.
Bannon shows every sign of having a grand plan which a fumbling Trump administration is having difficulty executing. (Nonetheless it has succeeded far more than commonly thought.) Key to seizing control is attacking the media, which has been an ongoing Republican project for more than a decade and is now conducted at a frenzied pace by the White House, and attacking the Courts, which has been undertaken with a vengeance by Trump. The plan must include sealing relations with the military and police. Flynn, a retired general, may have been a key element in gaining traction with the military. Somewhat frighteningly, Trump announced the beginning of an era of law and order in the U.S. and proposed to earmark vast sums of money for domestic law enforcement.
This is a fascinating time when our democratic institutions have been forsaken by a large portion of the population in the support of a bumbling and terribly uninformed dupe being manipulated by a Svengalian figure with grand designs.
Artwork by Jessie Buddell