December 27, 2017 / by emptywheel


The Narrow Scope of the Flynn Denials

The WaPo has a story telegraphing Trump defense plans to attack Mike Flynn as a liar to claim whatever testimony he has provided Mueller’s team is a lie.

Trump’s legal team has seized on Flynn’s agreement with prosecutors as fodder for a possible defense, if necessary. In court filings, the retired lieutenant general admitted that he lied to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the December 2016 transition.

“He’s said it himself: He’s a liar,” said one person helping craft the strategy who was granted anonymity to describe private conversations.

Mostly, it serves as an opportunity for Trump defense lawyers to express confidence that Flynn can’t damage them.

Attorneys for Trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that Flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the president or his White House team.

But then there’s this remarkable passage, where the anonymous defense sources for this story provide pretty empty denials of the things with which Flynn might be able to incriminate Trump’s folks.

Defense lawyers have said privately that Flynn will be unable to point to White House or campaign records turned over in the probe to bolster any claims of a criminal scheme. None of those records suggest a conspiracy by Trump or his inner circle to improperly work with Russians to defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to people who have reviewed the documents.

These lawyers are suggesting that Flynn would have campaign records reflecting coordination between the Russians and the Trump campaign. They’re suggesting that if Trump or his flunkies “improperly work[ed] with Russians to defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton” there’d be paper records.

What they’re not denying, however, is that Flynn attended meetings or otherwise knew of communications doing such things.

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